Friday, May 1, 2009

Global motherboard shipment exceeds expectations in 1Q-'09, but still declines YoY

TAIPEI, TAIWAN: According to research of the Taipei-based Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC) conducted as part of the ITIS project, the worldwide motherboard shipment performance in the first quarter of 2009 exceeded the expectations of motherboard manufacturers and component suppliers as motherboard shipment benefited from the demand increase in the clone market, low inventory levels and the peak season in the Chinese market.

Worldwide motherboard shipment volume in the first quarter of 2009 is estimated at 32 million units. Still, due to the unfavorable economic environment and tight supply of key components, shipment fell almost 16 percent year-on-year and 6 percent sequentially. Worldwide motherboard shipment value is estimated at US$1.50 billion in the first quarter of 2009.

Looking at different regional markets, China had the most eye-catching performance. According to MIC Industry Analyst Vincent Chang: "The Chinese market was mainly stimulated by the traditional peak season in the first quarter, the rural home appliance subsidy program aimed at promoting home appliances in the countryside, and expanding construction projects. The Asia-Pacific region excluding China also had a relatively good performance.

"In North America, even though market development slowed down, the performance was still better than the overall economy. Europe experienced the most severe slowdown in the first quarter. Some emerging markets and countries in Eastern Europe still featured a certain level of demand, but as credit risks have not completely disappeared, motherboard makers are careful in their shipments, affecting the scale of shipments to these markets."

Regarding shipment in the second quarter, Chang stated: "Markets in each region are entering the off-season, and channel inventory replenishment activities are slowing down. Market shipment momentum is thus weakening. Only several PC brands have continued to make procurements in April. Momentum in the clone market is evidently lower than in the first quarter. Therefore, a key issue in the second quarter will be the status of motherboard product inventories at the end of May, which will impact the production and shipment plans in preparation for sales in the third quarter."

It is currently forecast that worldwide motherboard shipment volume in the second quarter of 2009 will only slightly exceed 30 million units, with the year-on-year decline expected to exceed 13 percent. At the end of April, suppliers started to increase the supply of key components; combined with the falling demand, it is expected that the tight supply situation of key components will come to an end by the end of May.

Looking at the full-year development, with the large-scale decline in IT spending in 2009, opportunities for large growth in the enterprise market are limited. Consumer market is still greatly affected by the DTR (Desktop Replacement) effect.

Even though market demand has exceeded forecasts made in the fourth quarter, shipment in the first quarter has led to a decline in second-quarter shipments. Therefore, worldwide motherboard shipment volume in the full-year 2009 is expected to reach 134 million units, down almost 9 percent compared to the previous year.

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