The semiconductor industry is a non-stop industry. The civilization of human society is supported by these small components developed by scientists. Our common power management chips, field effect tubes, Schottky diodes and other electronic products also play a role. Their role. But no industry will be smooth sailing. After 2018 and 2019, the semiconductor industry will also face many difficulties.
1. The downward trend of the overall semiconductor cycle in 2019
According to WSTS data, global semiconductor sales in September 2018 reached US$40.91 billion, a new monthly high, but the year-on-year growth rate slowed to 13.8%. In the past month as of November 23, the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index fell 3.9%. According to unanimous market expectations, 18 of the 22 global companies tracked by institutions will slow or reverse their growth in the next fiscal year.
We repeatedly mentioned in the analysis of the semiconductor industry that the semiconductor industry depends on the head companies, especially the leading companies overseas. Instead of looking at those small and beautiful companies, because in the semiconductor field, small is often not beautiful.
Judging from the data, the weakness of the semiconductor industry will not improve at least in the first quarter of 2019. At the same time, the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics Association (WSTS) predicts that due to the influence of China and the United States, there are many unknown factors in the global economy. Therefore, the 2019 global semiconductor sales growth rate estimate is revised down from the estimated 4.4% annual increase in June to an annual increase of 2.6%. The annual growth rate will hit a new low level in the past three years (since 2016, an annual increase of 1.1%).
memory sales are expected to decrease by 0.3% annually, marking the first time in three years that it has contracted. In terms of fields, for example, in the field of computer chips, the decline in demand for virtual currency mining has dragged down industry growth.
Nvidia pointed out that the decline in demand for virtual currency mining has caused the use of second-hand graphics cards that were originally used for mining to flood the market. The delayed launch and the continued shortage of existing products have an impact on the demand for memory. It should be said that these are the performance of the industry's decline.
weakened demand and increased Sino-US friction are the two main negative factors. For example, in terms of equipment, the major US semiconductor equipment companies have fallen significantly since September due to the strengthening of US semiconductor technology export control and industry slowdown.
It is a headache that this factor temporarily sees no signs of slowing down. Especially during the negotiation process, various unexpected factors may occur, such as the HW executive incident and the ZTE incident, etc., all of which will focus on domestic semiconductors. Suppression in the field of autonomous control.
Second, the policy side has entered a quiet period
We believe that, marked by the intensive investment driven by the National Semiconductor Fund (Phase I), the overweight of semiconductors at the policy level has reached a peak in recent years.
As of the end of 2017, the first phase of the big fund has effectively invested 67 projects, with a total committed investment of 118.8 billion yuan (the actual investment exceeded 80 billion); the semiconductor industry funds supported by various local governments have reached hundreds of billions; the growth of the semiconductor field Strong and distinctive companies have all been listed in the past two or three years, with about 14 listed in 2017, 5 listed in 2016, and 6 listed in 2014-2015.
Next, the big policy expectation in the semiconductor field is the second phase of the National Fund. According to verification, it is still in the process of fundraising, with an estimated scale of 150-200 billion. Key investment directions: memory chips, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, compound semiconductors, etc.
2019 is the commissioning year of many key semiconductor projects planned and constructed by many provinces and cities, and also the year of the big exam. Not only for the project itself, but also for the local governments, they are also clearly aware of the "high risk, long cycle, and continuous money burning" characteristics of the semiconductor production line project;
Coupled with sluggish macroeconomics and high local debt, the complexity of the external environment and the risk factor have increased significantly. Many local governments in the country may be challenged by their confidence in investment and development of the semiconductor industry. Policy support and the sustainability of government funding are facing challenges .
Because local government investment in the semiconductor industry is one of the most important drivers for maintaining a high level of domestic industry, and as the enthusiasm of local governments has declined, superimposing the trough cycle facing the entire industry itself, 2019 may enter the entire industry The moment of shuffling. Recently, the three major domestic memory projects, Fujian Jinhua, were sanctioned by the United States and had a great impact.
III. Summary of the semiconductor sector
1) Fundamentals: the industry is in a downward stage of prosperity;
2) Event-driven level: Lack of major policy events, and then focus on the fundraising and layout of the second phase of the National Big Fund;
3) Uncertainty on the emotional side: China and the United States are expected to compete in the high-tech field for a long time, and the autonomous and controllable field with the semiconductor sector as the core will be the most affected.
In the short term, it is difficult for the semiconductor sector to produce a large rebound opportunity. From a technical point of view, there may be a breakthrough. 2019-2020 may be a transition period for the semiconductor industry. For field effect tubes, power storage chips, etc., even if it is simple The electronic components must also continue to be developed and updated to ensure that all keep up with the pace of the semiconductor industry.