Chip materials market slumps

The global semiconductor materials market fell by two percent in 2012 compared to the same time in 2011, SEMI has found.

In its latest report, the global industry association for the manufacturing supply chain for the micro- and nano-electronics industries also found that the worldwide semiconductor revenues declined three percent.

Revenues of $47.11 also marked the first decline in the semiconductor materials market in three years, the association pointed out.

Total wafer fabrication materials and packaging materials were $23.38 billion, compared to  $24.22 billion in 2011.

However, 2012 marked a turn for packaging materials revenues, which for the first time  exceeded wafer fabrication materials revenues standing $23.74 billion in 2012 compared to $23.62 billion in 2011.

A substantial decline in silicon revenue contributed to the year-over-year decrease to the total semiconductor materials markets. For the third year in a row, SEMI highlighted Taiwan as the largest consumer of semiconductor materials with record spending of $10.32 billion due to its large foundry and advanced packaging base.

Materials markets in China and South Korea also experienced increases in 2012, benefiting from strength in packaging materials. The materials market in Japan contracted seven percent, with markets also contracting in Europe, North America, and elsewhere.