FRANKFURT -- Germany area printed circuit fabricators reported orders slightly exceeded shipments for the second straight quarter in the April to June period, leaving the book-to-bill flat sequentially at 1.01 at quarter's end.
Backlogs set a net record, the seventh straight quarter, said ZVEI, which collects the data.
Still, the trade group said the "phase of significantly overheated new orders in the PCB industry" is slowly coming to an end.
Incoming orders fell moderately for the third quarter in a row and are nearing the three-year average. Orders remain above the trend in 2019 and 2020 but are down compared to the same quarter of last year.
Sales increased slightly sequentially and remain at a high level, ZVEI said, continuing a run since the beginning of 2021 that has seen shipments "significantly higher" than in the two previous years. Sales were down year-over-year, however.
Order backlogs reached a new record for the seventh quarter in a row. Production increased at plants and at the same time the far above-average order intake of the previous quarters fell somewhat. Order backlogs are now in the range of 150 working days utilization at current production output.
The number of employees rose slightly to a three-year high. Per capita turnover reached its highest level since the beginning of 2019. This can be attributed to an improving material availability situation, ZVEI said.
ZVEI said reporting companies are less optimistic about the coming quarters, citing regional conflicts.
PCB West: The leading technical conference and exhibition for electronics engineers. Coming Oct. 4-7 to the Santa Clara (CA) Convention Center. pcbwest.com