Following much better than expected returns in 2010, the Manufacturers’ Authorised Distributor (AFDEC) group within the Electronic Components Supply Network (ECSN) anticipates that the UK distributor total available market (DTAM) will grow by 24% to £1.15 billion in 2011. Total available market (TAM) is expected to climb 26% to £3.75bn. The forecast covers the UK/Eire electronic components market served by distributors.
“The recovery in the UK/Eire electronic components markets has been both much quicker and stronger in 2010 than we anticipated,” says Aubrey Dunford, ECSN market analyst. “The sales revenue has recovered to beyond pre-global financial crisis levels two years earlier than we forecast.”
The UK/Eire electronic components markets now need to consolidate this growth in 2011. AFDEC is optimistic that this is achievable in the current situation, based on its members’ strong bookings growth in the second half of 2010.
Dunford believes that the “book-to-bill ratio” is an important industry indicator. “The book-to-bill is now trending toward unity, suggesting that bookings (new orders) in the first half of 2011 will be lighter, with billings (invoiced sales revenue) driven by the true underlying demand from customers,” says Dunford. “It’s no longer possible to identify a single driver of demand and growth in the UK / Eire electronic components market as we have been able to do in the past. Much of the growth we are seeing is the result of a silent invasion of electronics into many new markets and applications.”
Despite the turbulence affecting the global economic outlook during 2010, the primary international markets for electronic components have all experienced similar growth to the UK. There were a few notable exceptions—China and Germany saw significantly higher-than-average growth rates.
Due to the skyrocketing global demand, manufacturing lead times for many electronic components extended considerably in 2010, with sporadic critical shortages arising for some key components. According to ECSN /AFDEC chairman Adam Fletcher, component manufacturers and their authorised distributors have experienced a difficult 18 months of matching real customer demand to their available capacity. “Fortunately, this process has generally been managed well, and many of the outstanding supply issues are expected to be resolved in the first half of 2011,” he says.