Total reported sales for all relay categories in North America for the fourth quarter of 2016 were 7% lower than the previous quarter and up 13% from the same quarter of 2015. Sales units for Q4 2016 ran 1% less than the units sold in Q3 and 30% more than Q4 of 2015.

The total booking dollars reported for all relay categories in North America for Q4 2016 came in below the previous quarter by 4%, and up 17% from Q4 2015. The fourth quarter’s book-to-bill ratio for dollars was 0.969. Booking units in Q4 2016 were 4% above Q3. The fourth quarter’s book-to-bill ratio for units was 1.053.

In the fourth quarter of 2016 compared to the third sales were down in dollars and units for EMRs and SSRs. ASPs were also down for both SSR and EMRs. In total dollars shrank than 4% and units slipped 1% while the ASP was 5% lower. When compared to the fourth quarter of last year EMRs were up in dollars and units while SSRs were lower for each. ASPs declined for EMR and rose for SSR. In total dollars were up 13% and units 30% higher with an ASP 13% lower. Year to date EMR dollars and units were higher and SSRs were mixed. In total, dollars were up just less than 7% and units up 14%. Total ASP was down over 6%.

Sales Growth by Relay Categories

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Booking dollars and units moved higher in Q4 compared to Q3 for SSRs while EMRs saw a dollar decrease. In total, booking dollars slid 4% and units moved up 4% with a 8% ABP decrease. The comparison to Q4 of 2015 shows dollars and units up for EMRs and SSRs. All in, dollars rose by 17% with units 27% stronger. The ABP for EMRs slipped 10% while SSRs inched up 4% and the total was off by 8%. Year to date SSR and EMR dollars and units are up compared to 2015. In total dollars were up 12%, units rose 24%, and booking prices 10% lower.

Bookings Growth by Relay Categories

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The graph below shows total quarterly indexed sales and bookings in dollars and units for the reported data. Sales dollars and units rose through first three quarters of 2014 and then started a downward trend through the end of last year and improved the first three quarters of this year. 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 2016. In Q4 of 2016 booking dollars exceeded sales dollars for the first time in over two years. The large difference in bookings and sales between Q3 2014 and Q3 2015 may represent an industry adjustment in inventory.

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The overall indexed selling prices generally had moved higher until the second half of last year when the trend seemed to reverse. Indexed booking prices have also trended upward until the second half of last year and then booking prices trended significantly lower than selling prices.

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Book-to-bill dollars dipped to a low in the Q3 of 2015 and have trended higher since. Book-to bill units broke higher the second quarter of last year and have been mostly over 1.0 since. The ratio of average booking to selling prices generally had moved higher until Q1 of last year when the trend changed downward. In Q2 of 2016 it started heading up once again.

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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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