Chip forecast puts Korea in front of Japan

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Chip forecast puts Korea in front of Japan

Korea likely passed Japan for the first time in terms of worldwide market share in semiconductors last year, the government reported yesterday.

According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, Korea’s market share was 15.8 percent in 2013, up 1.6 percentage points compared to the previous year, and the country’s total production was worth about $50 billion.

Meanwhile, Japan’s market share was 13.9 percent, down 3.6 percentage points from 2012, with production of about $44 billion.

The United States was No. 1 with a 52.4 percent market share, up 1.7 percentage points. The country produced semiconductors worth about $166.45 billion.

The Trade Ministry’s announcement was based on a study by the Korea Semiconductor Industry Association and iSuppli, a global market research firm.

The figures are based on confirmed data from the first to third quarters and projected data for the fourth quarter, which will be announced next month.

Market analysts say if Korea does move ahead of Japan, it will be because of continuous growth in the world’s storage chip and memory chip sectors.

Japan lost ground in the memory chip market and hasn’t been able to keep up with trends from newly emerging markets such as mobile semiconductors, analysts say.

Meanwhile, the worldwide semiconductor market was estimated to be $410.7 billion, including a storage chip market of $317.9 billion and a market for other related equipment and materials worth $49.8 billion.

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