The book-to-bill ratio for North America-based semiconductor equipment manufacturers such as Applied Materials Inc slipped to below one for a second month in a row, as chipmakers cut orders to cope with cyclical inventory correction and global economic weakness, semiconductor industry association SEMI’s statistics showed.
The book-to-bill ratio dropped for the fourth consecutive month to 0.87 percent last month after the three-month average of worldwide bookings contracted 10.2 percent month-on-month to US$1.28 billion last month from June’s US$1.42 billion, according to SEMI.
The SEMI statistics also showed that billings decreased 3.9 percent month-on-month to US$1.48 billion last month from US$1.54 billion.
“Bookings and billings for North American semiconductor equipment in July are close to values reported exactly one year ago,” Denny McGuirk, president and CEO of SEMI, said in a statement. “Seasonal slowing of investment activity in the current cycle is reflected in reduced orders as the industry enters the second half of the year.”
On an annual basis, booking declined 1.5 percent from US$1.3 billion and billing reduced 2.9 percent from US$1.52 billion, according to SEMI.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電) chairman Morris Chang (張忠謀) said last month that customers’ inventory adjustment might cause a dip in the company’s revenue next quarter and he expected the weakness to extend into the first quarter of next year.
Supply chain inventory was expected to rise further to a level with 13 days higher than seasonal level at the end of this quarter from an excess of 2 days as of June 30, Chang said. At the year-end, inventory would drop to 8 days above seasonal level, he said.