PCB segment

In February, 89% of the total PCB shipments reported were domestically produced, and flexible circuit manufacturers indicated that bare circuits accounted for approximately 78% of the shipment value reported for the month. Assembly and other services make up a large and growing segment of flexible circuit producers’ businesses. Year-to-date, the combined industry shipments are down 19.2%, and bookings are down 31.6%.

PCB shipments and bookings continued to slide, according to the IPC’s most recent update of the North American PCB Statistical Program.

Rigid PCB shipments were down 23.2%, and bookings were down 35.5% year-over-year. Rigid PCB shipments, year-to-date, are down 21.1%, and bookings are down 33.2%.

“The book-to-bill ratio for PCBs overall has stayed in negative territory for 10 months now, and orders are still declining compared to last year,” said IPC President Denny McGuirk. “This suggests we will continue to see weak sales for the next few months at least. The flexible circuit segment of the industry is faring better than rigid PCBs right now,” he added.

The book-to-bill ratios are calculated by dividing the value of orders booked over the past three months by the value of sales billed during the same period from companies in IPC’s survey sample. A ratio of 1.0 suggests parity. Book-to-bill ratios and growth rates for rigid PCBs and flexible circuits combined are heavily affected by the rigid PCB segment. Rigid PCBs represent an estimated 90% of the current PCB industry in North America, according to IPC’s World pcb manufacture and Laminate Market Report.

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