South Korea’s printed circuit board (PCB) market is expected to contract 2.6% this year to be worth 9.65 trillion won, according to the Korea Printed Circuit Association (KPCA).
The forecast is lower than KPCA’s initial one made earlier this year of a contraction of 1.5%. The adjustment is due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Local PCB makers is estimated to have posted 4.58 trillion won in sales in the first half of 2020, down 3.1% from a year prior. PCBs aimed for semiconductors saw growth but those aimed at smartphones saw a decline, KPCA said.
The companies posted strong sales in the first quarter, growing 6% from a year prior, but this is has nosedived in the second quarter from the virus outbreak.
Sales is expected to recover in the second half of 2020, KPCA said, from rising demand in PC and tablets due to social distancing measures. PCBs needed for building 5G networks will also spur growth, the association said.
Demand from Apple, which is launching its new iPhone 12 series later this year, will also boost sales, it added.
ROBUST 2ND HALF EXPECTED
In the first half of the year, there was high demand for PCB for semiconductors, mostly for memory and gaming applications. Samsung Electro-Mechanics, LG InnoTek, Daeduck Electronics and Simmtech are some of the companies that produce these PCBs.
These companies will likely benefit from rising demand from cloud and 5G communications.
PCB for smartphones will rise from Apple’s iPhone and Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy series in the second half of the year. Korea Circuit and DAP, which makes high density interconnection (HDI) PCBs, saw their factory operation rate increased in the first half of the year compared to a year ago. This was largely due to Samsung and Daeduck exiting the business.
The amount of order these companies get will also be depend on how much order Samsung Electronics decide to give to its original design manufacturers in China, which will use their own PCB suppliers.
Meanwhile, around 50 to 60 million units of rigid flexible PCB (RFPCB) are to be shipped in the second half of the year for the OLED panel of iPhone 12. Samsung Electro-Mechanics and BH are supplying the goods.
Interflex won an order for over 10 million digitizers from Samsung for its Galaxy Note 20 series.
SI Flex is expected also see the shipment for its flexible PCB for notebooks grow.
Meanwhile, PCB for auto-component remains only 5% of the total South Korean PCB market. Orders for them is expected to drop further from low sales of automobiles due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, more automobiles are using multi layer boards, which is more lucrative, upgrade the features on their cars, which is a positive development.