SEOUL, Nov. 29 (Yonhap) -- The world semiconductor market is expected to grow at a much slower-than-expected pace in 2019, industry sources said Thursday, amid a heated debate over an oversupply.
According to the sources, a recent report from the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) has forecast global chip sales to rise 2.6 percent on-year to US$490.1 billion next year.
The projection is much lower than a 5.2 percent estimate presented by the WSTS, an organization of 42 chip suppliers that pools sales data in August this year.
It marks the first time this year that the WSTS has revised down its growth forecasts for the world semiconductor market. In June and August, it upgraded the growth outlook, citing its conservative approach.
According to the report, sales of the memory chip market dominated by South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. and SK hynix Inc. are forecast to drop 0.3 percent in 2019 after a stellar growth rate of 33.2 percent this year and 61.5 percent in 2016.
The report said chipmakers' overall sales are expected to keep rising in the coming year, but the memory chip market is projected to shrink slightly following explosive growth this year.
The report, however, revised up the chip market's growth outlook for this year to 15.9 percent from an earlier 15.7 percent forecast. Its sales forecast has been upgraded to $477.9 billion from $477.1 billion.
Driven by the memory chip sector, the global semiconductor industry has been growing this year, with all regions, including North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific, reporting sales gains, it added.
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