Total reported sales for all switch categories in North America for Q3 of 2016 were 9% below the previous quarter and 4% lower than observed in the third quarter of 2015. Sales units for Q3 came in 12% less than Q2 2016 and 9% lower than Q3 of 2015.

The total booking dollars reported for all switch categories in North America for Q3 ran 6% less than the previous quarter and below Q3 2015 by 1%. The fourth quarter’s book-to-bill ratio for dollars was 1.006. Booking units in Q3 2016 were 1% below Q2. The first quarter’s book-to-bill ratio for units was 0.977.

The third quarter versus the second showed total sales dollars down 9% and units 12% lower on the weakness of the majority of categories. Prices were up almost 3% in total with all but DIP decreasing as the product mix shifts to higher priced switches. The comparison to the third quarter of 2015 yielded similar results dollars down in seven of eight categories and 4% in total. Units were lower for most categories and fell in total by 9%. Pricing from a year ago was up in half of the categories and higher in total by 5%. Year to date versus a year ago has dollars 2% higher in total driven by snap action and tact switches. All in, units jumped over 8% also driven by snap action and tact performance. The ASP dropped over 6% with losses in six of eight categories.

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When compared to last quarter total booking dollars fell 6%. Units were up in seven of eight categories but down 1% in total driven by losses in tact switches. Booked prices were down almost 6% in total with decreases in the majority categories. Booked dollars in Q3 against the same quarter of 2015 were nearly unchanged in total with mixed results by category.  Units up for most categories and 10% in total. Prices were lower for most categories and 10% overall. Bookings year to date versus 2015 were up in total dollars and units. Dollars are up 6% and units almost 16% better. Booking price slipped 8% with over half the catagories down.

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The graph below shows total quarterly indexed sales and bookings in dollars and units for the reported data since Q3 CY 2014. Sales dollars remained flat and units dropped for the first four quarters of the period. Both dollars and units improved in in Q2 and Q3 of 2015 then fell sharply in Q4. Both improved the first two quarters of this year then fell in Q3. Booking units fell to a low in Q1 2015 and have improved since. Booked dollars were mainly flat, except for Q2 and Q4 of 2015, then picked up in the first half 2016 and fell in the last quarter.

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Book-to-bill units have trended lower until the start of 2016. Book-to-bill dollars have oscillated above and below 1.0 over the last two years. The booking to selling price ratio has trended higher until falling the last two quarters.

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Indexed booking prices increased to a peak in Q1 of 2015 and fell dramatically the last six quarters. Indexed selling prices improved until the start of 2015 and have generally declined the last seven quarters and are near a Switch Tracks all-time low as shown in the second graph below.

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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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