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Global sales of semiconductors to rise in 2018, growth to slow down

All News 10:37 January 01, 2018

SEOUL, Jan. 1 (Yonhap) -- Global sales of semiconductors are expected to rise in 2018, but the pace of growth will likely slow down compared with last year, a report by an industry tracker said Monday.

According to IHS Markit, the global market size for dynamic random access memory (DRAM) stood at US$72.2 billion last year a surge of 74 percent from $41.5 billion tallied for 2016.

The market research said for the new year, demand for DRAMs could hit $84.4 billion a gain of 16.9 percent from the previous year.

In addition to the slower pace of growth following last year's market that has been described as a super cycle, the average selling price for computer chips may fall despite rise in shipments in 2018, analysts here said.

In addition to DRAMs, sales of NAND flash memory chips are expected to grow 10 percent on-year to $59.2 billion in 2018, IHS Markit predicted. It said that overproduction will cause prices for such chips to decline in the new year.

In 2017 the market for NAND flash chips reached $53.8 billion, up 46.2 percent from the previous year's $36.8 billion.

Besides IHS Markit, other global market watchers, such as DRAMeXchange and TrendForce Corp., all expected some adjustments in growth with the push by Chinese manufacturers to grab a greater share of the market to affect overall conditions.

TrendForce, in particular, estimated that Chinese companies are all focused on building up their memory semiconductor operations going forward.

Observers then said the international tech sector is keenly watching to see how much money market leader Samsung Electronics Co. will inject into semiconductor facilities in the new year. In the first half of 2017, the world's largest manufacturer of computer chips invested $11 billion into its semiconductor production line. This was equivalent to a quarter of all facility investments in the world.

"Shortfalls in production capacity for DRAMs are expected to cause prices to remain strong this year, with investment by Samsung to set the direction for the market," an analyst for IBK Securities Co. here said.


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