Components bottleneck drives German components distribution forward

The shortage of components continues to drive great numbers for the distribution industry, according to FBDi e.V. – Fachverband der Bauelemente Distribution e.V. (Professional Association of Component Distribution) . Although the summer quarter did not bring new sales records, it clearly ended with record orders. Sales by distributor members of the FBDi grew by 25.2% to 887 million Euros in the third quarter. On incoming orders, the industry set a new record with 1.48 billion Euros, which represents a plus of 135%. As a result, the book-to-bill ratio ended once again at a record-breaking level of 1.67. For the year as a whole, the electronics components distribution industry is expected to grow by between 15% and 20%, returning to the pre-Corona turn-over level of around 3.3 billion euros.

At a product level, the FBDi recorded significant differences: Semiconductors, by far the largest product group, grew by just under 20% to 576 million Euros, electromechanics by almost 38% to 126 million Euros, and passives by 38% to 115 million Euros. Sensors (+69% to just under 9 million euros), displays (by 24% to 16 million), power supplies (including batteries) by 29% to 34 million Euros, and assemblies and subsystems by 39% to just under 11 million Euros also increased considerably. This resulted in a slightly different market split between semiconductors (65%), passives (13%) and electromechanical components (14%). Power supplies and the remaining products each contributed 4%.

FBDi chairman of the board Georg Steinberger said: “Compared to the once again massive increase in orders, the 25% sales growth in the third quarter is almost disappointing. The lack of availability has clearly had an impact on our growth. How much of the future orders can actually be realized remains to be seen – almost 4.2 billion euros in new orders have been booked in 2021 alone, in 3 quarters! Even with a lot of imagination, this cannot reflect the true market demand, even if a large part of next year already seems to be in the bag.”

The way in which the components industry – above all semiconductors – has already arrived in the mainstream media amazes Steinberger: “For 35 years, first as a journalist and then as a marketeer, I have tried to make the wonders of microelectronics accessible to a wider public, but this has hardly crossed the industry boundaries. Today, even the daily news reports on the shortage of ‘computer chips’ and its impact on the entire national economy, the ‘new gold’. One can only hope that this will not only result in billions in subsidies for chip production, but finally in the improvement of educational structures that will enable Europe and Germany to develop the leading chips for the future. Kids, become engineers and chip designers!”

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