China will unseat South Korea as the largest market of semiconductor manufacturing equipment in 2019, when global sales hit another record-high levels, according to SEMI.
SEMI reported that worldwide sales of new semiconductor manufacturing equipment are projected to increase 10.8% to $62.7 billion in 2018, exceeding the historic high of $56.6 billion set last year. Another record-breaking year for the equipment market is expected in 2019, with 7.7% forecast growth to $67.6 billion.
The SEMI Mid-Year Forecast predicts wafer processing equipment will rise 11.7% in 2018 to $50.8 billion. The other front-end segment, consisting of fab facilities equipment, wafer manufacturing, and mask/reticle equipment, is expected to jump 12.3% to $2.8 billion this year. The assembly and packaging equipment segment is projected to grow 8.0% to $4.2 billion in 2018, while semiconductor test equipment is forecast to increase 3.5% to $4.9 billion this year.
In 2018, South Korea will remain the largest equipment market for the second year in a row. China will rise in the rankings to claim the second spot for the first time, dislodging Taiwan, which will fall to the third position. All regions tracked except Taiwan will experience growth. China will lead in growth with 43.5%, followed by Rest of World (primarily Southeast Asia) at 19.3%, Japan at 32.1%, Europe at 11.6%, North America at 3.8% and South Korea at 0.1%.
SEMI forecasts that, in 2019, equipment sales in China will surge 46.6% to $17.3 billion. In 2019, China, South Korea, and Taiwan are forecast to remain the top three markets, with China rising to the top. South Korea is forecast to become the second largest market at $16.3 billion, while Taiwan is expected to reach $12.3 billion in equipment sales.