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Chip sales fall

Down by 15 per cent

Bean counters at analyst outfit Carnegie have said that world chip sales are likely to be only $22.7bn in January,  compared to $23.8bn in December. 

Seasonally adjusted, that would be down 1-2 per cent on a monthly basis and mean that actual chip sales will likely fall 15-16 per cent on a yearly basis. The reason for the fall, the analysts say, is due to disk drive shortages in Thailand which have forced costs to rise. The PC market is likely to be more back-loaded this year, the report notes.

Handset chip sales were likely also soft in January. Chips for cars were softer after a strong December. Other quirks, such as an early Chinese New Year also contributed the low figures in January. Although several chip makers indicated the inventory problems in fourth quarter had ended, Carnegie thinks that ly indicator indicates that it continued into this year.

PC's are the biggest chip users, followed by cell phones. Cars, appliances, base stations, and instruments are other significant users, the analyts said.

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