Output of Taiwan’s PCB sector hits new high

Taipei-Undeterred by escalating trade tensions between the United States and China, Taiwan's printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturers operating across the Taiwan Strait saw a record high in production value for the first half of this year, the Taiwan Printed Circuit Association (TPCA) said Monday.

Data released by the TPCA showed the output of Taiwanese PCB suppliers totaled about US$9.3 billion or NT$288.2 billion, up slightly from the NT$287.8 billion earned over the same period of last year.

The data indicated that production lines operated by these Taiwanese PCB makers in China accounted for 63 percent of the total output of PCBS produced Taiwanese companies in the six-month period.

The TPCA said despite uncertainty created by the Washington-Beijing trade disputes, along with falling global demand for smartphones and cars, clients of the local PCB industry were keen to build up their inventories to avoid possible tariffs imposed by the U.S. on Chinese goods down the road. That paved the way for the higher production value in the six months.

In addition, Taiwanese PCB makers benefited from select niche markets, including select PCBs made of certain insulating raw materials and got a boost from rush orders from clients, the TPCA said.

An increase in PC shipments in the global market further lifted demand for PCBs during the six-month period, in particular in the commodity PCB segment, the TPCA said.

But due to a slowdown in the global cell phone market, where a product vacuum existed ahead of the launch of 5G services, the increase in the production value of Taiwan's PCB industry was capped in the first half of this year to some extent, the association said.

Meanwhile, due to a relatively high comparison base over the same period of last year, the output of PCBs demanded by communications devices and automotive electronics items fell 5.6 percent and 2 percent, respectively, in the first half of the year, the association added.

As for the second half of this year, the TPCA said the global PCB market remained troubled by a global economic slowdown at a time of rising trade frictions between Washington and Beijing, which has prompted several major organizations such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to cut their forecasts for the world's economic growth.

However, the emerging 5G technology is expected to create tremendous business opportunities for the local PCB industry, the TPCA said, adding said it has projected the output for 2019 will hit NT$652.8 billion.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel