The PCB industry will have peak market demand in the second half of the year, and the first companies to witness brisk sales in Q3 are the upstream raw material suppliers of copper foils, fiberglass fabrics, and copper clad laminates (CCL). Faced with the problem of the current tight supply of raw fiberglass yarns from fiberglass factories, the prices of fiberglass fabrics can jump at any moment. Meanwhile, the increasing demand for lithium batteries and PCBs from electric vehicle plants has created a flourishing market demand for copper foils.
According to Lee Si Xian, the General Manager of the copper foil producer Co-tech Development, its Q2 processing costs have been maintained at Q1’s level. Upon entering the peak PCB season in Q3 and maintaining processing costs at a stable level due to the emerging market demand, an increase in revenues in Q3 is inevitable.
As with the supply of fiberglass fabrics, the supply of raw fiberglass yarns has been tight since Q4 of last year, a situation that has not yet improved. During the Q2 off-season, the prices of electronic-grade fiberglass fabrics have remained stable and have no trace of a strong upward trend. However, both Fulltech and Glotech are optimistic about the brisk effect of Q3, which is likely to push up demand and increase prices.
With regard to full-process PCB factories, Q3 is considered the beginning of the peak season, and Q4 the most prosperous quarter in the whole year. Relatively speaking, Apple’s iPhone 8 and iPhone X have changed their SLP (substrate-like PCB) designs since last year. For Unimicron, Compeq, and ZDT, which are enjoying their second year of engaging in Apple’s production, their yield rate should be significantly improved, thus helping to generate profits in Q3. However, since SLP consumes too much intermediate process, it would likely edge out the production capacity of HDI (high-density interconnect) PCBs. Legal persons are optimistic about Tripod Technology’s production increase of 600,000 square feet of HDI PCBs per month, which is enough to accommodate the HDI PCB orders.
As for the PCB equipment sector, Q3 was originally a peak season for delivery, and after the monthly revenue of Machvision, the AOI equipment plant has hit a record high for 13 consecutive months. General Manager Chen Fu Sheng still expresses optimism for the Q3 economy. Symtek Automation Asia and Group Up expect to see a significant increase in sales performance in Q3 to handle the wave of machinery delivery to Career’s new Guanying plant, a manufacturer of PCBs and FPCs. (News source: cnYES)