North American Relay Market Sales Rise 8% and Bookings Up 4% for Q1 Versus Q4 2015

Total reported sales for all relay categories in North America for the first quarter of 2016 were 8% higher than reported in the previous quarter and down 5% from the same quarter of 2015. Sales units for Q1 2016 came in 2% more units sold in Q4 and 13% less than Q1of 2015.

The total booking dollars reported for all relay categories in North America for Q1 2016 ran more than the previous quarter by 4% and down over 4% from Q1 2015. The first quarter’s book-to-bill ratio for dollars was 0.899. Booking units in Q1 2016 were 3% above Q4. The fourth quarter’s book-to-bill ratio for units was 1.082.

In the first quarter of 2016 sales were up in dollars and units for EMRs and down for SSRs. Overall dollars improved 8% and units up 2%. ASPs were up for both types and 8% in total. When compared to the first quarter of last year EMRs were down in dollars and units while SSRs improved in dollars. ASPs were up for both EMRs and SSRs. In total dollars and units were down 5% and 13% with an ASP 10% higher.

Booking dollars and units moved higher in Q1 compared to Q4 for EMRs and SSRs. In total, booking dollars rose 4% and units improved 3% with a 2% ABP increase. The comparison to Q1 of 2015 shows dollars down for EMRs and SSRs and unit results mixed. All in, dollars fell by 4% with units 7% better. The ABP for SSRs rose 11% while EMRs fell 11% and the total was off almost 10%.

The graph below shows total quarterly indexed sales and bookings in dollars and units for the reported data. Sales dollars and units rose through the first three quarters of 2014 and then started a downward trend through the end of last year and improved in Q1. Booking dollars and units followed a similar trend albeit with a much larger step down in the third quarter of 2014 and an upturn in Q4 of 2015 and in Q1. The large difference in bookings and sales between Q3 2014 and Q3 2015 may represent an industry adjustment in inventory.

The overall indexed selling prices have general moved higher until the second half of last year when the trend seemed to reverse. Indexed booking prices have also trended upward over the period with more fluctuation. The booking prices have recently trended significantly lower than selling prices.

Book-to-bill dollars improved through Q2 of 2014, dropped in Q3 of 2014, and have remained mostly below 1.0 since. Book-to bill units followed a similar path until it broke higher the last two quarters. The ratio of average booking to selling prices has general moved higher until Q1 of last year when the trend changed downward.

Michael Schwert


Michael Schwert

Michael is the founder of Cumulus, Inc. He has more than 30 years of marketing and sales as well as design experience in the electronic and electrical component industry. Prior to founding Cumulus, he was Director of Marketing for Cherry Electrical Products and held other marketing management positions with Panduit, BRK Electronics, and Ideal Industries.

Cumulus provides market information and consulting services for the global electronic components industry. The company offers three publications: Switch Tracks, a quarterly report with market information on component switches; the Relay Report, a quarterly report with market information on component relays; and Market Notes, a monthly report on sales, bookings, and business conditions in the relay and switch market. Cumulus also manages projects that help leading global suppliers in the relay and switch industry to develop new products and reach new markets.

Schwert provides MarketEYE with monthly articles that include timely and accurate market information for the electromechanical component sector of the electronics industry.

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