IPC: December N. American PCB Shipments Down 14.5% Print E-mail
Written by Chelsey Drysdale   
Thursday, 31 January 2013 23:02

BANNOCKBURN, IL – North American printed circuit board shipments in December 2012 were down 14.5%, and orders decreased 7.5% year-over-year, says IPC.

Year to date, shipments were down 5.2%, while orders decreased 2.4%. Sequentially, shipments increased 5.7%, and orders were up 19.1%. The book-to-bill ratio rose to 0.98.

A ratio of more than 1.0 suggests that current demand is ahead of supply, which is a positive indicator for sales growth over the next two to three months.

Rigid PCB shipments were down 16.1% for the month compared to December 2011, and orders dropped 8.8% year-over-year.

Year to date, rigid PCB shipments declined 5.5%, and orders decreased 1.7%. Sequentially, shipments were up 7.1%, and orders increased 19%. The book-to-bill ratio for rigid PCBs recovered to 0.99.

Flexible circuit board shipments in December were up 6.7%, and orders were up 9.4% year-over-year. Year to date, flex board shipments decreased 1.5%, while orders fell 10%. Sequentially, shipments decreased 7.4%, but orders were up 20.2%. The flex circuit board book-to-bill ratio improved to 0.84.

“North American PCB book-to-bill ratios appear to have begun recovering after a downward trend that began in the second quarter of 2012,” says Sharon Starr, IPC director of market research. “The industry’s sales ended 2012 at 5.2% below 2011.”

Rigid PCBs represent an estimated 90% of the current PCB industry in North America. In December, 82% of total PCB shipments were domestically produced. Domestic production accounted for 82% of rigid PCB and 80% of flex circuit board shipments.





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