South Korea’s market for raw materials and chemicals used in the production of printed circuit boards (PCB) is expected to grow this year, according to the Korea Printed Circuit Association (KPCA).
This is thanks to double-digit growth in the semiconductor board market, which is increasing demand for raw materials and chemicals, the association said.
The use of overseas chemicals is also increasing as they are needed to manufacture the high-value semiconductor boards, KPCA said.
PCB raw material production is expected to reach 118.5 million meter-square this year, an increase of 1.7% from the previous year.
According to KPCA, rigid board raw materials will reach 640 million meter-square, an increase of 2.4% year-on-year, and those for flexible boards will increase by 0.9% over the same time period to 545 million meter-square.
Copper foil production will reach 8,180 metric tonnes, an increase of 9.1% from 2020, the association said, with 95.3% of the foils produced expected to be used in rigid boards.
Sales from chemicals used in PCBs is expected to grow 2.9% year-on-year to 528 billion won.
Surface processing chemicals will reach 220 billion won in sales, an increase of 4.8% from 2020.
Sales prices of chemicals, in general, are falling but premium ones used in the production of high-value PCBs are increasing, KPCA said.
As more South Korean PCB makers are taking part in OLED display market, chemicals used for flexible PCBs are seeing growth, it added.
The local PCB market is also seeing import of chemicals from Japan increase as they are needed to make expensive boards such as flip-chip ball grid array (FC-BGA).
KPCA expects the South Korean PCB market to be worth 10.86 trillion won this year, its highest ever and an increase of 3.4% from 2020.
Sales from semiconductor boards are expected to increase 17% year-on-year to 3.86 trillion won, it added.