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News from WECC members

20 June 2016

NEWS FROM IPC

North American PCB Business Growth Continued in April
IPC Releases PCB Industry Results for April 2016

IPC have announced the April 2016 findings from its monthly North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program. Sales and orders in April both exceeded last year’s levels and the book-to-bill ratio stands at 1.02.

Total North American PCB shipments in April 2016 were 5.6 percent above the same month last year, causing year-to-date growth to remain at 5.5 percent for the first four months of the year. Compared to the preceding month, April shipments were down 16.8 percent.

PCB bookings in April increased 6.4 percent year-on-year, boosting year-to-date bookings growth for the first quarter to 5.0 percent. Orders in April 2016 were down 19.3 percent from the previous month.

“April was another good month for the North American PCB industry, with solid year-on-year growth in both sales and orders,” said Sharon Starr, IPC’s director of market research. “Bookings exceeded shipments for the sixth consecutive month, but only by a small margin in April. This brought the book-to-bill ratio down although it remains positive” she added. “Growth rates and book-to-bill ratios for the first quarter changed slightly from previously published reports, due to a re-tabulation necessitated by a change in the survey sample this month. The revised ratios are 1.05 in January, 1.04 in February and 1.05 in March. April’s 1.02 book-to-bill continues a positive trend indicating continued sales growth in the second and third quarters.”

 

 

Detailed Data Available

The next edition of IPC’s North American PCB Market Report, containing detailed April data from IPC’s PCB Statistical Program, will be available by the end of next week. The monthly report presents detailed findings on rigid PCB and flexible circuit sales and orders, including separate rigid and flex book-to-bill ratios, military and medical market growth, demand for prototypes, and other timely data. This report is available free to current participants in IPC’s PCB Statistical Program and by subscription to others. More information about this report can be found at www.ipc.org/market-research-reports.

 

Interpreting the Data

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 more than 1.00 suggests that current demand is ahead of supply, which is a positive indicator for sales growth over the next three to six months. A ratio of less than 1.00 indicates the reverse.

Year-on-year and year-to-date growth rates provide the most meaningful view of industry growth. Month-to-month comparisons should be made with caution as they reflect seasonal effects and short-term volatility. Because bookings tend to be more volatile than shipments, changes in the book-to-bill ratios from month to month might not be significant unless a trend of more than three consecutive months is apparent. It is also important to consider changes in both bookings and shipments to understand what is driving changes in the book-to-bill ratio.

IPC’s monthly PCB industry statistics are based on data provided by a representative sample of both rigid PCB and flexible circuit manufacturers selling in the USA and Canada. IPC publishes the PCB book-to-bill ratio at the end of each month. Statistics for the current month are normally available in the last week of the following month.

 

 

 

EU Conflict Minerals Negotiators Reach Agreement

by Fern Abrams

The On June 16, the European Union (EU) Commission, Council and Parliament agreed on a framework for conflict minerals legislation. Overall, the legislation will be less burdensome for IPC members and the electronics industry than previously proposed. While the EU Commission had originally proposed a voluntary system, the EU Parliament had voted for mandatory requirements for the entire supply chain. Under the agreement reached this week, due diligence requirements will apply only to the upstream portions of the whole supply chain.

The framework for legislation, which is a working document, will need technical work before it is finalized, including cooperation with the legal services of the European Commission. A vote in the European Parliament could take place before the end of the year, and would have to be followed by a formal adoption in the Council for the text to become law.

Over past four years, IPC has met with EU Commission staff, European Parliament Rapporteur Iuliu Winkler’s staff and several other MEP offices. In the meetings, IPC emphasized the burdens and unintended problems Dodd-Frank has caused, both for manufacturers and the miners in Africa it was intended to help. IPC encouraged the EU to adopt voluntary measures in alignment with the existing Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and other industry programs in order to minimize the burden of compliance.

IPC will continue to actively advocate for our members and industry on this important issue and will continue to keep you informed of any new developments regarding conflict minerals.

 

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