EPTE Newsletter: Did Taiwan's Printed Circuit Market Finish in the Green?

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Shipments from the printed circuit industry can arguably be considered a barometer for the global electronics market. With that said, PCB shipments for December are a little cloudy and complicated. Further explanation follows.

Total revenue from Taiwanese PCB manufacturers in December 2019 was NT$56,280 million an 8.24% decrease from the previous month, and a 15.74% increase from the same time in the previous year. Now, I can review the annual performance of the year. The total revenue for 2019 was NT$639,200 million a 1.48% increase from the previous year. Rigid circuits grew by 1.99% with mild fluctuations throughout the year. The flex circuits segment posted negligible growth at 0.15% while experiencing wild fluctuations in demand throughout the year.

The growth rate during 2019 was green, but there was a sharp decline in December 2018. Without this decline, the industry could have recognized a decline in volume for 2019. The category that posted the largest decline in the electronics industry was mobile devices. This market decline of smartphones began four years ago, but manufacturers continue to increase their manufacturing capacities (Figure 1).


Global semiconductor shipments are another growth indicator for the electronics industry. Volume grew during 2017 and 2018, but declined during December 2018, mimicking Taiwanese PCB volume for the same period. The market showed a slight rebound during the second quarter of 2019, but could not sustain momentum and declined over the next few months. Figure 2 shows a monthly breakdown for semiconductor shipments by regions.


This summary did not take into account any events that occurred during December 2019 that could have an adverse reaction in the industry. In short, the coronavirus continues to have a business impact in China. Japan will not allow visitors from Wuhan, China, and the virus is now a threat to Japan. The supply chains and consumer products manufacturing are taking a big hit in China, but worse is the personal suffering for many. My heart goes out for those who have suffered family tragedies. I am optimistic that a cure and vaccination will arrive shortly.



1. Mitsubishi Electric (electric and electronics company in Japan) 2/10
Co-developed a thin avionic electronic scanning array antenna (AESA) system for Kaband (27–40 GHz), thickness: ‹3 cm.

2. Toshiba (electric and electronics company in Japan) 2/10
Developed technology for 3D detection with a single-lens camera measuring the focusing depth.

3. Murata (device supplier in Japan) 2/10
Restarted the operation of the manufacturing in China, except in the Wuhan Providence, on February 10. The company said the safety and good health of the employees are the first priority.

4. JAE (connector supplier in Japan) 2/12
Unveiled the first washable connector series “RK01” for wearable electronics devices. They can be mounted on the suite by traditional sewing machines.

5. Taiwan Pucka (flex circuit manufacturer in Taiwan) 2/14
Developed a printing technology to generate a flexible capacitance sensor array built on cloth.

6. Isaiah Research (market research firm in Taiwan) 2/14
Expects Chinese smartphone manufacturers to decline the shipment 15–20% during the first quarter of 2020 due to the coronavirus infection in China.

7. Kyocera (electronics company in Japan) 2/17
Will start the business of MEMS devices introducing small-size resonators developed by Finnish venture firm Tikitin Oy.

8. Jenax (device manufacturer in Korea) 2/17
Developed a thin, bendable, lithium-ion battery for wearable electronic devices, and will start the volume production during the summer season in 2020.

Dominique K. Numakura is the managing director of DKN Research LLC. Contact haverhill@dknreseach.com for further information and news.



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