Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI) announced on April 14 that the global semiconductor manufacturing equipment sales added up to US$102.6 billion last year, up 44 percent from a year ago.

By country, China increased its purchase by 58 percent to US$29.6 billion, South Korea increased its purchase by 55 percent to US$24.98 billion, and Taiwan increased its purchase to US$24.94 billion. China’s semiconductor manufacturing equipment purchase, which was US$13.11 billion in 2018, increased for the fourth consecutive year. South Korea’s was US$17.71 billion in 2018 and dropped to US$9.97 billion in 2019.

Last year, Japan’s semiconductor manufacturing equipment purchase was US$7.8 billion and those of North America and Europe were US$7.61 billion and US$3.25 billion, respectively.

These days, semiconductor manufacturing equipment is very hard to come by worldwide. This is because the supply of equipment components is not smooth and orders are increasing rapidly at the same time. At present, the average lead time is more than 10 months.