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PCB | May 03, 2007

IPC release its monthly PCB statistic

The North American rigid PCB industry book-to-bill ratio for March 2007 inched up to 0.99. The North American flexible circuit book-to-bill ratio jumped up to 1.18. The combined (rigid and flex) industry book-to-bill ratio in March 2007 reflected these gains, increasing to 1.00.
These ratios are based on monthly data collected from PCB producers that participate in IPC's monthly PCB Statistical Program. Some analysts find the separate ratios for rigid and flex more meaningful than the combined ratio because of the divergence in recent years between the rigid PCB and flexible circuit segments of the industry in growth rates and book-to-bill patterns.

The ratios are calculated by dividing the value of orders booked over the past three months by the value of sales billed during the same period from the companies in IPC's survey sample. A ratio of more than 1.00 suggests that current demand is ahead of supply, which indicates probable near-term growth.

Rigid PCB shipments are down 12.6 percent and bookings are down 23.7 percent in March 2007 from March 2006. Year to date, rigid PCB shipments are down 9.0 percent and bookings are down 20.8 percent. Compared to the previous month, rigid PCB shipments increased 9.3 percent and rigid bookings increased 6.4 percent.



Flexible circuit shipments in March 2007 were down 1.6 percent and bookings were up 41.7 percent compared to March 2006. Year to date, flexible circuit shipments are up 4.2 percent and bookings are up 21.4 percent. Compared to the previous month, flexible circuit shipments increased 25.8 percent and flex bookings were up 111.4 percent.



For rigid PCBs and flexible circuits combined, industry shipments in March 2007 decreased 11.9 percent from March 2006, and orders booked decreased 19.9 percent from March 2006. Year to date, combined industry shipments are down 8.2 percent and bookings are down 18.7 percent. Compared to the previous month, combined industry shipments for March 2007 are up 10.3 percent and bookings are up 12.3 percent.

“Rigid PCB sales continued to grow in March, despite lower sales compared to last year," said IPC President Denny McGuirk. “In flexible circuits, the continued decline in sales reflects a normal seasonal pattern," he continued. “The book-to-bill ratio for all PCBs has once again reached parity after declining in late 2006. This reflects overall stability despite slower growth in the first quarter of 2007," McGuirk added.

The book-to-bill ratios and growth rates for rigid PCBs and flexible circuits combined are heavily affected by the rigid PCB segment. Rigid PCBs represent an estimated 85 percent of the current PCB market in North America, according to IPC's World PCB Production and Laminate Market Report for the Year 2005.

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