Analyst Malcolm Penn of Future Horizons can always be guaranteed to take a provocative view of the latest data. His reaction to the January WSTS report is no exception. Writing in the company’s February/March newsletter, he says:
December’s WSTS data showed the industry still bumping along its path of ‘when in doubt do nothing’ with IC sales down 6% in value versus this time last year. Yet ASPs were up 1.2% meaning the underlying market growth was still positive – despite industry perception – with inventory liquidation still meeting a sizeable portion of demand.
This is post-Lehman crisis déjà vu. Once again industry is digging a hole to bury itself in… the underlying fundamentals are strong; inventory will deplete; there’s simply not enough work-in-progress in the manufacturing system to meet real demand. The market will explode again in the second half of 2012.
Future Horizons provides some of the best tracking of the supply-demand balance at the fab level as well as a wealth of forecasts and data. You can find more details on its Monthly Global Semiconductor Report here.