The circuit board industry in Taiwan released its shipping data for November. The revenue declined 5.61% compared with the previous month and declined 0.29% for the same month last year. Year to date revenue increased 0.29% comparing year over year.
Shipments for rigid circuit boards were relatively stable over the last four months. November shipments declined 2.72% compared with the previous month, and volume was flat from August through October.
Volume for flexible circuits took a nosedive during November. This segment grew between June and October, but declined by a whopping 11.21% during November.
In my opinion, the Taiwanese printed circuit industry can be the barometer for global consumer electronic markets. The relatively flat performance during 2019 does not provide a definitive direction for global markets in 2020.
Most of the products from Taiwanese flexible circuit manufacturers are earmarked for mobile equipment that includes smart phones, smart watches, tablet PC, laptops and notebooks. Global Smartphone demand was weak during 2019. We are optimistic that new products such as Apple’s iPod Air will fill the pipeline next year and flexible circuit manufacturers will remain profitable.
Shipments of raw materials (copper clad laminates) declined by double digits year over year, and manufacturing equipment investments declined. These variables are included in the equations for sales forecasting. Taiwanese printed circuit manufacturers work closely with EMS companies and end customers to provide accurate forecasts for their quarterly standing orders. These companies order raw materials and equipment based on their future manufacturing contracts. One can surmise that a reduction in the purchase of raw materials and equipment could be a signs of a slower quarter.
I remain optimistic that the Taiwanese companies will remain strong during 2020. They are very aggressive in finding alternatives when small downturns occur.
Dominique K. Numakura, email@example.com
DKN Research, www.dknresearch.com
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Headlines of the week
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