Worldwide Distributors Overcome China Slump to Achieve Positive Growth in 2022

Dale Ford, chief analyst, ECIA

In this article, ECIA’s chief analyst, Dale Ford, provides updated unique research on the Top Worldwide Authorized Distributors

This report continues an annual update of the true original “Top 50 Worldwide Authorized Distributors” research that was published for the first-time in 2021. Once again, the goal of the research conducted to develop the data presented in this article is to include the major authorized distributors from all three regions. Given the dominating presence of Asia as a distribution market, a second goal was to provide total revenue data for the top electronics component country markets in Asia. According to the research presented in this article, Asia saw its share of the worldwide market of the Top 50 authorized distributors slip from 75% in 2021 to 71% in 2022. The Americas and EMEA distribution markets both expanded their share of the worldwide market by roughly 2% each to account for 15.6% and 12.9% market share, respectively.  Still, 37 out of the top 50 authorized distributors are headquartered in Asia and account for 57.6% of 2022 distribution revenues in this analysis.

The publication of this update is a continuation of a plan to develop additional research on the electronic component distribution markets. ECIA provides its members and the industry with a wide range of highly valuable research including detailed sizing of component total available market (TAM) and distribution total available market (DTAM) for the Americas, EMEA and Asia for selected key categories. In addition, it provides data on component lead times, bookings trends, electronics component industry sentiment, best practices for key distribution activities and more.

The Top 50 Worldwide Authorized Distributor Research Methodology and Results

As noted in the original publication of Top 50 worldwide authorized distributors, the task of identifying and sizing the top authorized distributors around the world presents significant challenges beyond the research developed for the Americas Authorized Distributor data. For example, participation in surveys by industry companies is a well understood practice (if not always supported) by Americas and European companies. The same is not true in Asia where personal relationships and communication are key to gathering helpful information. Surveys have a very low participation rate in Asia. In addition, most companies headquartered in China are private and not easily accessible for communication. However, some major players have gone public in recent months which sheds valuable light on their activities and revenues. Given these and other issues, the methodology pursued for this research needs to be briefly explained.

1. Surveys were used to gather information for this research and every effort was made to identify contacts at all companies to invite participation in the survey. As anticipated, the level of participation by companies headquartered in Asia was low. However, a number of companies headquartered in Asia continued to participate in the research.

2. To expand the data captured in this report, extensive research of published financial data for all public companies was pursued. A number of private companies also provide extremely helpful  top-level financial data. 

3. Input from major manufacturers and distributors was solicited to both identify top distributors and provide guidance on the revenues of private companies. Roughly 100 companies were identified for consideration in the top 50. Companies were excluded both for falling below the top 50 and because they were engaged as a broker instead of authorized distribution.

4. Finally, web-based secondary research was a source of additional data that supported modeling and analysis used to create estimates in areas where survey or published data was not available.

The tables and figures presented in this report have been created based on the methodology described above.

Distributors faced a challenging year as market and economic headwinds constrained overall growth to low single-digits. China was a particular challenge with a substantial impact given its 46% share of the global distribution market. China distribution market revenues declined by 6.6% in 2022. Fortunately, all other countries in the region delivered growth between 0.1% and 12.7% except for the small Australia / New Zealand market that fell by 3.2%  In a stark contrast with Asia’s struggles, Americas authorized distribution revenue grew by 19.3% in 2022 and the European market expanded by 17.1%. 

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