#2010 / Small Recovery Signs from Taiwan

The Novel Coronavirus, COVID-19 spread to over two hundred countries and claimed more than 150,000 lives. The virus emerged in China in December 2019, and spread around the world. European countries and the U.S. report a significant amount of cases over the last several weeks. The total number throughout Europe is 1,100,000, and the U.S. reported 740,000 today.
The infection rate in Japan was relatively lower than North America and Europe last month, however, this changed over the last two weeks. The number of new cases surpassed ten thousand yesterday with over two hundred deaths. New cases continue to increase, especially in the large cities of Tokyo and Osaka. The prime minister and prefectural Governors issued emergency stay-at-home requests for at least one month hoping to reduce social contact. White collar workers are required to set up temporary offices in their residence and work from home, but manufacturing companies will suffer without any workers. Non-essential retail stores and restaurants are closed; grocery stores and pharmacies remain open. The Japanese economy will struggle during the second quarter of 2020.
Taiwan kept the virus under control. Total confirmed cases are at 420, with 6 deaths. Taiwan’s government learned from the 2003 SARS event and moved quickly to respond to the Covid-19 threat. Manufacturing companies continue with factory operations and schools remain open. Things are pretty normal for Taiwanese citizens. I spoke with some of my colleagues from Taiwan last week, and they say it is business as usual; the only inconvenience is the restriction on international travel.
Market data for March is pointing towards a strong rebound. Monthly revenue from Taiwanese printed circuit manufactures posted negative results since November 2019. February brought a seasonal drop as well as a slowdown from the coronavirus; however, market data shows a significant rebound for March. This increase is greater than the normal spike in sales after The Chinese New Year. Another positive sign for the industry is the increase in material procurements from printed circuit manufacturers during March. This indicates that manufacturers are receiving orders from their customers.

The chart below shows PWB shipment in Taiwan:

The Global economy is slowing down dramatically, but the wheels have not fallen off the cart. The Taiwanese printed circuit industry could be considered the barometer for global consumer electronics, and the data suggests the industry will have an increase over the next few months.

Dominique K. Numakura, dnumakura@dknresearch.com
DKN Research, www.dknresearch.com

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Headlines of the week
(Please contact haverhill@dknreseach.com for further information and news.)

  1. Samsung Display (Major display manufacturer in Korea) 3/31
    Will terminate the production of LCD panels for TV by the end of 2020 and shift OLED panels.
  2. Taiwan Pucka (Circuit manufacturer in Taiwan) 4/2
    Has developed a new manufacturing process to build 3D circuits on formed plastic housing. It eliminates wiring of the flex circuits.
  3. NGK Spark Plug (Major ceramic device supplier in Japan) 4/3
    Has succeeded to apply new ceramic antenna modules for 28 GHz band telecommunications. The device was built in Antenna in Package.
  4. Murata (Major component supplier in Japan) 4/4
    Have stopped the manufacturing of MLCC at Fukui Plant for three days. An employee had positive by the COVID-19 test. 5500 employees stayed at home.
  5. Osaka University (Japan) 4/13
    Has developed a new photo chemical process to generate ammonia from sea water at room temperature using sun shine and new catalyst.
  6. Iris Ohyama (Kitchen ware supplier in Japan) 4/13
    Will roll out a new AI monitoring camera system for business use. The system measures the visitor’s temperature and detect face mask.
  7. ZMP (Device manufacturer in Japan) 4/14
    Will roll out a new model of 3D LiDAR with a wider angle for the auto drive systems with an accuracy of +/- 5cm at 200 meters.
  8. Nishimatsu Construction (Major construction company in Japan) 4/14
    Has co-developed a new chemical process to convert carbon dioxide to methane using Microbial Fuel Cells with Gunma University.
  9. Sharp (Major electronics company in Japan) 4/15
    Has started the manufacturing and delivery of the face masks to protect novel coronavirus infection.
  10. Fuji Keizai (Market research company in Japan) 4/16
    Has forecasted the global market of fuel cell batteries. The total will be 4.5 trillion yens by 2030. 22.6 times grow from 2018.
  11. Tokyo Institute of Technology (Japan) 4/16
    Has succeeded to generate EUV ray using polymer bubbles. It will be available for the next generation patterning equipment.
  12. NEDO (Major R&D organization in Japan) 4/16
    Was successful to develop transparent flexible films with many functions using new AI programs. It could minimize the trials to get the films.

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