IPC: April PCB results suggest sales slowdown to continue into 3Q11

IPC's monthly PCB industry report concludes that for rigid PCBs and flexible circuits combined, industry shipments in April 2011 increased 3.0% from April 2010, as orders booked decreased 5.6% from April 2010.

Jun 1st, 2011
vsdnewsipc060111
vsdnewsipc060111

The April 2011 findings from IPC's monthly North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program have been released.

The monthly report concludes that rigid PCB shipments were up 0.8% and bookings decreased 6.6% in April 2011 from April 2010. Year to date, rigid PCB shipments were up 5.2% and bookings declined 8.1%. Compared to March 2011, rigid PCB shipments decreased 15.0% and rigid bookings decreased 12.3%. The book-to-bill ratio (B:B) for the North American rigid PCB industry in April 2011 improved slightly to 0.96, says IPC.

Flexible circuit shipments in April 2011 were up 30.3% and bookings increased 7.2% compared to April 2010. Year to date, flexible circuit shipments increased 14.3% and bookings were up 9.0%. Compared to March 2011, flexible circuit shipments decreased 2.4% and flex bookings declined 0.8%. The North American flexible circuit B:B in April 2011 fell to 0.96.

For rigid PCBs and flexible circuits combined, industry shipments in April 2011 increased 3.0% from April 2010, as orders booked decreased 5.6% from April 2010. Year to date, combined industry shipments were up 5.9% and bookings were down 6.7%. Compared to the previous month, combined industry shipments for April 2011 decreased 13.9% and bookings decreased 11.5%. The combined (rigid and flex) industry B:B in April 2011 increased to 0.96.

“Growth in North American PCB sales continues to follow normal seasonal patterns and seems to have returned to normal, and the book-to-bill ratio is holding steady at just under parity,” says IPC president and CEO Denny McGuirk. “This suggests the slowdown in sales growth is likely to continue into the third quarter of this year.”

To track regional production trends, IPC asks survey participants for the percent of their reported shipments that were produced domestically (i.e., in the USA or Canada). In April 2011, 81% of total PCB shipments reported were domestically produced. Domestic production accounted for 79% of rigid PCB and 87% of flexible circuit shipments in April by IPC’s survey participants. These numbers are significantly affected by the mix of companies in IPC’s survey sample, which change slightly in January, but are kept constant through the remainder of the year.

In April, the flexible circuit manufacturers in IPC’s survey sample indicated that bare circuits accounted for about 52% of their shipment value reported for the month. Assembly and other services make up a large and growing segment of flexible circuit producers’ businesses. This figure is also sensitive to changes in the survey sample, which may occur at the beginning of each calendar year.

SOURCE: IPC

-- Posted by Vision Systems Design

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