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Global Semiconductor Market is Losing Steam
A Blow to Korea's Exports
Global Semiconductor Market is Losing Steam
  • By Jung Suk-yee
  • November 30, 2018, 10:08
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The global semiconductor market is expected to backpedal next year, significantly affecting exports from South Korea.

The global semiconductor market is slowing down at a rapid pace. The World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) recently forecast that the total sales of the market would be US$490.1 billion next year, up 2.6% from a year earlier, whereas its forecast released in August this year had been US$502 billion with a year-on-year growth of 5.2%.

According to the WSTS, the memory semiconductor market is expected to show a sales decline of 0.3% next year after last year’s 61.5% growth and this year’s 33.2% growth. In short, negative growth is around the corner after a super cycle.

Still, the WSTS recently adjusted its sales and growth forecasts for this year from US$477.1 billion to US$477.9 billion and from 15.7% to 15.9%, respectively. “This year, most of the segments of the market are growing, led by memory semiconductors,” it said, adding, “Also, sales growth is likely to be witnessed in every region, including the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific.” It went on to say that the memory semiconductor market is predicted to backpedal next year.

Headquartered in San Jose, California, the WSTS is a non-profit industrial organization consisting of 42 members, including Samsung Electronics, SK Hynix, Micron Technology, Texas Instruments, Sony, Toshiba and Infineon Technologies.

According to industry sources, negative growth of the global semiconductor market can significantly affect exports from South Korea with its major industries like automotive, shipbuilding and steel going through difficulties without exception. The Institute for International Trade of the Korea International Trade Association recently predicted that South Korea’s export growth would fall from 30% to 5% between this year and next year due to a fall in unit price in the semiconductor sector. At present, semiconductors account for 21.2% of South Korea’s total exports, and the country’s total export growth is likely to fall from 5.8% to 3% between this year and next year due to a decline in semiconductor exports.