MAY 23--According to Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI; Mountain View, CA; www.semi.org), the North American-based manufacturers of semiconductor equipment reported orders for $712 million for April 2001 and a book-to-bill ratio of 0.42--$42 in orders were received for every $100 worth of products shipped. This April ratio represents the lowest level the semiconductor industry has incurred over the last ten years. Reflecting the faltering nationwide economy, the book-to-bill ratio has steadily decreased from 1.12 in November 2000 to 0.99 in December 2000 to 0.80 in January 2001 to 0.71 in February 2001 and finally to 0.59 in March 2001.
According to Stanley T. Myers, SEMI president and chief executive officer, the severity and depth of this industry correction is unprecedented. Cancellations of previously reported orders for semiconductor-manufacturing equipment were a significant contributor to the monthly bookings decline as worldwide chip manufacturers made adjustments to bring capacity and inventory in line with demand.
The three-month average of worldwide shipments in April 2001 was $1.7 billion, which is 17% below the revised March 2001 value of $2 billion. Shipments were 15% under the $1.9 billion level of April 2000. The three-month average of worldwide bookings in April 2001 was 41% lower than the revised March 2001 level of $2.1 billion, and 74% under the $2.7 billion reported in April 2000.