Rising Chip Equipment Demand Foreshadows Challenging Conditions for Component Buyers

Following a steep drop throughout most of 2023, global semiconductor manufacturing equipment demand began a recovery in Q1 that will gain momentum in 2024, leading to rising prices and lengthening lead times this year. 

Global capital expenditures of equipment for memory production are set to rise by 9% in Q1 compared to Q4, 2023, while non-memory spending is projected to increase by 16%, according to SEMI. The rise coincides with an increase in worldwide fab utilization rates, as the total is expected to rise to 70% in Q1, up from 66% in Q4.

Global Semiconductor Sales on The Rise

The recovery in equipment demand comes as global semiconductor sales rise. According to market watchers, worldwide semiconductor market revenue is set to increase by nearly 12% in 2024 after an approximate decline of 10% in 2023. 

The growing end demand for electronics is propelling the increase in chip sales. SEMI estimates that global electronics sales initiated their upward trajectory in Q4 when global sales rose by 1% year-over-year, the first increase since the second half of 2022.

Commodity IQ data reflect the strength in electronic component sales in early 2024, with the Commodity IQ Demand Index for all electronic components rising at the highest rate in 35 months during January. The demand index rose 27% sequentially for the month, the most significant increase since March 2021.

The index increased to 99.3 during the month, just slightly short of the baseline. The sharp component demand increase does benefit from seasonality, but Q4 semiconductor revenues were larger than anticipated.

Buyers Should Negotiate Pricing Now

The robust demand recovery is expected to bring repercussions for buyers later in 2024. Machinery demand is set to range from weak to flat in the first half, extending the currently favorable conditions for buyers.

However, demand will start increasing by the second half, leading to tighter parts availability. Lead times are expected to start stretching in the second half of the year, followed by pricing increases in Q4.

For semiconductor equipment buyers, the first half of 2024 represents a time to negotiate the best possible pricing and delivery terms before conditions worsen.

Explore Supplyframe Solutions

IQ Insider Background

IQ Insider

Join IQ Insider to receive weekly, curated insights powered by Commodity IQ.


Design-to-Source Intelligence

DSI solutions deliver actionable insights that drive better decisions across new product development initiatives, full product lifecycles, & strategic sourcing of direct materials.


About Supplyframe

Accelerate new product introductions, reduce supply chain risk, and take advantage of market opportunities.