Taiwan to regain tech equipment status: SEMI

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Jul 12, 2019 - Page 12

Taiwan is to regain its position as the world’s largest semiconductor equipment market this year with annual growth of 21 percent, unseating South Korea, SEMI said in its mid-year report yesterday.

Taiwan yielded top position to South Korea in 2017 and since then, its ranking has fallen, SEMI data showed.

Taiwan was third last year.

Overall, Taiwanese companies are expected to purchase a combined US$12.31 billion of semiconductor equipment this year, an increase from US$10.17 billion last year, the report showed.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電) appears to be the biggest contributor, with the world’s biggest contract chipmaker planning to invest between US$10 billion and US$11 billion on new equipment, primarily for advanced technologies, the report said.

Taiwan’s growth comes in contrast to the worldwide semiconductor market’s contraction of 18.4 percent to US$52.7 billion this year, from a record of US$64.5 billion last year, SEMI said.

“The forecast [for the worldwide semiconductor equipment market] reflects recent downward adjustments in capital expenditures and rising market uncertainty due in part to geopolitical tensions,” SEMI said.

Aside from Taiwan and North America, all regions tracked by SEMI are to contract this year, it said.

North America is to see annual growth of 8.4 percent to US$6.32 billion, it said.

China is to be second for a second consecutive year, with semiconductor equipment spending totaling US$11.69 billion, while South Korea is to be third with equipment spending of US$9.22 billion, the report said.

SEMI expects the worldwide semiconductor equipment market to recover next year on the strength of memorychip makers’ spending and new investment projects in China.

The global semiconductor equipment market is to grow an annual pace of 11.6 percent to US$58.8 billion next year, it said.

Wafer processing and total chip testing, assembly and packaging equipment are included in the purchase estimates, it said.

China is forecast to become the world’s largest semiconductor market next year, with total equipment spending of US$14.5 billion, followed by South Korea’s US$11.75 billion and Taiwan’s US$11.55 billion, it said.

Japan is to see the strongest annual growth of 46.25 percent to US$8.98 billion next year, SEMI said.

For worldwide semiconductor equipment spending going forward, “more upside is likely if the macroeconomy improves and trade tensions subside in 2020,” it said.