PCB | January 29, 2007
PCBs in high demand going into New Year
iSuppli has examined the increasing demand for Printed Circuits Boards (PCBs) due to strong orders from the mobile communications and consumer electronics markets.
Starting in the fourth quarter of 2005, PCB sales increased sharply, driven by strong demand from the markets for mobile phones, notebook PCs, LCD-TV and video game consoles. Many PCB manufacturers have been at full capacity and are still not able to meet there customers orders, which resulted in the outstanding performance of the PCB industry in 2006. The price of copper, which is the main raw material of PCBs, rose throughout 2006, but was stable in December. iSuppli forecasts copper will maintain this price stability throughout the first half of 2007. Many copper Clad Laminate (CCL) manufacturers increased CCl prices in the range of 10% to 15% in order to transfer the price pressures of copper, which still continued to rise in 2006. Because most PCB manufacturers were unable to absorb this additional cost, board prices continued to rise in 2006 and iSuppli predicts they will persist in increasing until the end of the first half of 2007. Although the first quarter in normally the slowest season of the year, many PCB manufacturers remain at full capacity, meaning 2007 should be a peak period for the PCB industry.