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N. America, Europe turn SMT tables.

MUNICH--The global SMT equipment market slowed in the second half, hut 2011 shipments topped 2010's figures. New orders declined, but the real story was the significant regional differences. Shipments in China dropped roughly 15%, while North and South America, Europe and the rest of Asia saw double-digit growth rates. North and South America grew about 40%, while Europe was up 20% and Southeast Asia grew 15% year-over-year.

"The positive market development at the start of 2011 slowed worldwide over the course of the year. However, we expect that we will be able to put this cyclical decline behind us by the middle of 2012," said Stephanie Pepersack, Siplace head of market intelligence.

Moreover, the global market shifted to more advanced placement equipment: In 2011, over three of every four placement machines shipped fell into the high-end category, while the market for low-end machines declined, Siplace indicated.

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Title Annotation:MARKET WATCH
Author:Drysdale, Chelsey
Publication:Printed Circuit Design & Fab
Date:Apr 1, 2012
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