A small but potentially trend setting improvement in semiconductor equipment bookings and the overall book-to-bill ratio was seen in June, 2009, according to the latest Book-to-Bill Report published by SEMI. Bookings reached US$323.4 million, up approximately 12% compared to the final May 2009 level of US$287.8 million. The book-to-bill ratio was 0.77, up from 0.73 in May.
“We are seeing improvement to the book-to-bill ratio due to slight growth in bookings," said Stanley T. Myers, President and CEO of SEMI. “However for the equipment manufacturers, the market remains extremely difficult as customers are not yet at a point where additional capacity investments are needed.”
Indeed, the bookings level remains at significantly low levels, approximately 69% below the US$889 million levels set in June, 2008 and approximately 280% below the bookings peak of February, 2008.
SEMI reported that the three-month average of worldwide billings in June 2009 was US$419.6 million. The billings figure is just over 7% higher than the final May 2009 level of $392.6 million, and about 64% less than the June 2008 billings level of $1.16 billion.
With many of the major IC manufacturers continuing to trim already low capital spending plans for the year, an expected recovery in spending in the second-half of 2009 is likely but at a continued slow pace and far below break-even point for the equipment suppliers.