The nation’s printed circuit board (PCB) industry’s total production value hit NT$288.2 billion (US$9.18 billion) in the first half of the year, up from NT$287.8 billion in the same period last year, the Taiwan Printed Circuit Association (TPCA, 台灣電路板協會) said in a report on Sunday.
The figure includes local firms’ production in Taiwan as well as China, which made up 63 percent of the total, the association said.
Despite the market uncertainties caused by the ongoing US-China trade spat, Taiwanese makers have reaped the benefits of early orders of Ajinomoto Build-up Film (ABF) substrate and rigid-flexible PCBs from downstream clients, it said.
The growing shipments of PCs in the first six months drove up the demand for rigid substrates in the period, but the lackluster smartphone market led to a drop in demand for bismaleimide-triazine (BT) resin substrates, it said.
Demand for flexible PCBs and high-density interconnect PCBs also dropped, it said.
As the PCB industry is facing a global economic slowdown — amid weak outlooks for the second half of the year from the IMF, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and the World Bank — the TPCA has trimmed its output forecast for Taiwanese makers to a 0.21 percent increase to NT$652.8 billion this year, down from NT$661.1 billion it estimated last year, the report said.
The association also warned that a slow consumer shift in the smartphone market from 4G to 5G might create problems for the Taiwanese PCB makers, as technical difficulties and deployment challenges have hampered the maturation of 5G technology.
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