"Level the playing field", Didrik Bech Elmatica
What is going on with the PCB Laminate market?
The PCB laminate market in China is experiencing slower growth pace since the beginning of the year. Many factors have affected it, the US-China trade war and its increased tariff, the expectation of a big ramp-up from the automotive or EV industry did not happen this year.
Brexit, trade restrictions and market leaders cause delays to raw material
Now we experience that external factors as Brexit and the trade restrictions between China and the US affect the industry, causing delays due to raw material demand and prioritization by the huge market players.
This year, we cannot ignore the impact of the change in strategy of major players towards the supply chain.
A shortage of high frequency and low loss material for 5G – impact the industry
Due to the surge in 5G demand, the PCB supply chain in Asia had been impacted with a shortage of high frequency and low loss material for 5G. Major laminate suppliers are switching production line to produce such material in order to meet the demand. There are only these number of pots available, if they are all used to make chicken soup, then there will be lesser pots for mushroom soup. Results of this are lesser FR4 material are being produced. Which is what we are facing today. Shortage of high-frequency material as it has been taken up by the major players. A longer lead time of the conventional glass epoxy laminate FR4 material as the production of it had reduced.
What to do in such times?
How do we then get through this period? Again, planning, planning, and planning. Plan ahead, make an accurate forecast and place your order.
You know you need to make an advance reservation at that very popular restaurant in town. Why are you not doing the same for your PCB purchasing?
Make forecast, but don’t forget to order
We consistently need to remind ourselves, PCB is not an off the shelf product. It is customized and it takes time. That’s why it’s so important to not only make a forecast, (because we know that in times like this people tend to double up their forecast), placing the actual order is more important than ever.
What the China-US trade war means for the industries.
Why, How, and What to Expect – all you need to know about Copper in 2019