China continues to strengthen its position as the world’s largest supplier of PCBs. Production and exports this year are estimated to climb 11 percent YoY to reach $19.7 billion and $11.8 billion, according to the China Printed Circuits Association.
Makers are banking on the robust electronics industry to recover from the recent export sales slump and sustain growth in coming years. With overseas orders starting to rebound in 2H09, many expect revenue to remain in an upturn. The rising penetration rate in the computer, telecom, automotive, industrial and even aviation segments like wise bodes well for the sector.
Multilayer boards are forecast to lead, with output projected to climb at least 15 percent this year to hit 99 million square meters. HDI and flexible PCBs are also gaining traction.The upswing in the former type is spurred by the bullish mobile phone segment as nearly 90 percent of the world’s handsets integrate HDI boards.
Many suppliers, especially small and mid size operations, expect the government’s stimulus programs to spur electronic product manufacture and push up demand for PCBs.
The following are some of the keytrends in China’s PCB industry:
• Squeezed margins resulting fromthe recent sales slump compelled makers to increase export quotes in the past several months. The tight price competition, however, will force many to implement reductions to grab more orders.
• To boost export capability, suppliers are improving operating efficiency and lowering manufacturing costs through production line optimization and process streamlining. Several are adopting stricter resource planning to manage raw material inventory better.
• Product development initiatives center on increasing the number of PCB layers and adopting new materials. Some makers are decreasing the line width and spacing.
• “Green” initiatives revolve around waste management, energy efficiency and recycling. About 50 suppliers now comply with the Cleaner Production Standard-Printed Circuit Board Manufacturing specifications released by the Ministry of Environmental Protection of China early this year.
• Companies are keen to expand their markets in the EU. North America is another key export destination.
• The high cost of imported materials and manufacturing equipment remains a challenge form any suppliers, especially small enterprises. Most inputs for multilayerPCBs, for example, are from DuPont, Arlon and Taiflex.
The above is extracted from the Executive Summary of China Sourcing Report: PCBs
To learn more about this report, visit: http://www.chinasourcingreports.com/csr/pcbs
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