SEMI, the global industry association representing the electronics manufacturing supply chain, released its Year-end Forecast at the annual SEMICON Japan exposition. SEMI projects that worldwide sales of new semiconductor manufacturing equipment will increase 35.6 percent to US$55.9 billion in 2017, marking the first time that the semiconductor equipment market has exceeded the previous market high of US$47.7 billion set in 2000. In 2018, 7.5 percent growth is expected to result in sales of US$60.1 billion for the global semiconductor equipment market – another record-breaking year.
The SEMI Year-end Forecast predicts a 37.5 percent increase in 2017, to $45.0 billion, for wafer processing equipment. The other front-end segment, which consists of fab facilities equipment, wafer manufacturing, and mask/reticle equipment, is expected to increase 45.8 percent to $2.6 billion. The assembly and packaging equipment segment is projected to grow by 25.8 percent to $3.8 billion in 2017, while semiconductor test equipment is forecast to increase by 22.0 percent to $4.5 billion this year.
In 2017, South Korea will be the largest equipment market for the first time. After maintaining the top spot for five years, Taiwan will place second, while China will come in third. All regions tracked will experience growth, with the exception of Rest of World (primarily Southeast Asia). South Korea will lead in growth with 132.6 percent, followed by Europe at 57.2 percent, and Japan at 29.9 percent.
SEMI forecasts that in 2018, equipment sales in China will climb the most, 49.3 percent, to $11.3 billion, following 17.5 percent growth in 2017. In 2018, South Korea, China, and Taiwan are forecast to remain the top three markets, with South Korea maintaining the top spot at $16.9 billion. China is forecast to become the second largest market at $11.3 billion, while equipment sales to Taiwan are expected to approach $11.3 billion.