Coming Soon – Annual Electronic Equipment "Busy Season"

By Walt Custer, Custer Consulting Group

Consumer-driven electronic equipment sales (including mobile phones and PCs) exhibit strong and predictable seasonality.  “Back to School” and Christmas demand cause major spikes in electronics purchases.  Understanding and predicting these seasonal fluctuations is key to resource planning and sales forecasting.

Chart 1 shows monthly electronic equipment shipments by region for 2007 to the present.  These chart data are derived from country and trade organization statistics (U.S. Dept. of Commerce, JEITA for Japan, Eurostat for Europe) plus composite company sales for China/Taiwan, South Korea and others.  Seasonality is most apparent in the low cost, high production volume Southeast Asian countries where China dominates global consumer-driven electronics production.

Chart 2 is a consolidation of the regional data in Chart 1 to give total global monthly electronic equipment shipments. Notice that peak electronic equipment sales range from September to November. Electronic component sales peak about a month earlier.  Suppliers must adjust their production capacity to the autumn surge but then see demand plunge after New Year.

Seasonality is a way of life for the electronic supply chain.  In addition to the autumn consumer buying surge major new product introductions, technology shifts and ongoing economic cycles all require careful consideration when planning personnel levels, raw material purchases and inventory levels, production schedules and other financial decisions.  While consumer-driven seasonality is much less apparent in monthly SEMI equipment sales there is a “trickle down” effect to all suppliers.

Global Update
July 20, 2017