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Global orders for Japan chip-making devices fall in September.

TOKYO, Oct. 27 Kyodo

Global orders for Japanese semiconductor-manufacturing equipment in September fell 3.0 percent from a year earlier to 110.68 billion yen, registering its first year-on-year decline since May 2003, an industry body said Wednesday.

The fall reflects a pause in semiconductor investments, previously boosted by robust demand for digital home appliances, the Semiconductor Equipment Association of Japan said.

Orders have seen sluggish growth since reaching 164.53 billion yen in June due to brisk demand for digital appliances such as liquid crystal panel TVs, nearing the 170 billion yen level marked in December 2000 when an information technology-led economic boom was ending.

In September, the book-to-bill ratio for chip-making equipment on a three-month moving average basis came to 0.87, dipping below the 1.00 line for the first time in five months, indicating that supply of the devices has surpassed demand.

A book-to-bill ratio of 1.00 means that 100 billion yen worth of orders were received for every 100 billion yen of product billed for the month.

''Semiconductor makers are currently adjusting production,'' said Yoshiharu Izumi, an analyst at J.P. Morgan Securities.

For the fiscal first half to Sept. 30, global orders for Japanese chip-making devices surged 47.9 percent from a year earlier to 855.24 billion yen.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Date:Nov 1, 2004
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