SURREY, UK -- A stalling in the Western economy will ripple through the Chinese printed circuit board market, dragging down the growth rate even as the nation's market share climbs.

Asia's will see PCB growth of just under 5% this year on the strength of domestic demand, then increase enough to bring the annual growth rate to 6% to 7% for China between 2011 and 2016, says research firm BPA Consulting. The global PCB market will increase from $56.6 billion in 2011 to $68.5 billion in 2016, with China's share of PCB production rising to 51% from 45%.

"Although China continues to dominate both for PCB demand and production in both volume and value terms, the total market demand in Asia in 2013, at least, will be reduced by the economic downturn in the West, which is expected to continue for some years while the Eurozone restructures and recovers. Growth in the short-term due to the suppressed forecasted demand factors will see production growth rates below what has been seen from China in the recent past," BPA says.

Small- and medium-sized fabricators in China have felt the impacts of the slower growth more than their counterparts throughout Asia, BPA asserts, a trend that will continue through the first half of 2013.

While China attempt to compensate by boosting exports to emerging economies, it remains heavily reliant on the major US and European markets, BPA said.

Figure 1. PCB production 12/12 growth curves, actual and forecast. Source: BPA Consulting


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