SAN FRANCISCO — After increasing by nearly 10 percent in 2017, the semiconductor materials market is expected to grow by an additional 4 percent in 2018 to reach a new all-time high of $48.7 billion, according to the SEMI trade association.

The previous market high for materials was $47.1 billion set in 2011, SEMI said.

Total wafer fabrication materials sales grew 12.7 percent last year to reach $27.8 billion, SEMI said, while packaging materials sales  increased by 5.4 percent to reach $19.1 billion.

SEMI Regional Semiconductor Markets 2016/17

Taiwan was the largest consumer of semiconductor materials for the eighth straight year in 2017, with sales of $10.3 billion, SEMI said. Taiwan owes its lead to the island's large foundry and advanced packaging base, according to the trade group.

SEMI also announced that the three month average for bookings of North American semiconductor equipment suppliers totaled $2.42 billion in March, up 0.4 percent from February and up 16.7 percent from March 2017.

"We are seeing sustained strength in the global semiconductor equipment market, aligning with our expectation for a fourth consecutive year of spending growth," said Ajit Manocha, SEMI's president and CEO, in a press statement.

Semiconductor billings Q4 2017