IPC-Association Connecting Electronics Industries announced today the November findings from its monthly North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program.
PCB Industry Growth Rates and Book-to-Bill Ratios Announced
Rigid PCB shipments are down 9.6 percent and bookings are up 11.8 percent in November 2007 from November 2006. Year to date, rigid PCB shipments are down 9.1 percent and bookings are down 8.0 percent. Compared to the previous month, rigid PCB shipments decreased 1.7 percent and rigid bookings decreased 4.1 percent. The book-to-bill ratio for the North American rigid PCB industry in November 2007 was 1.06.
Flexible circuit shipments in November 2007 were down 1.6 percent and bookings were up 12.6 percent compared to November 2006. Year to date, flexible circuit shipments are down 6.4 percent and bookings are up 5.5 percent. Compared to the previous month, flexible circuit shipments were up 16.3 percent and flex bookings rose 4.3 percent. The North American flexible circuit book-to-bill fell back to 1.02 in November.
For rigid PCBs and flexible circuits combined, industry shipments in November 2007 decreased 9.1 percent and orders booked increased 11.8 percent from November 2006. Year to date, combined industry shipments are down 9.0 percent and bookings are down 7.2 percent. Compared to the previous month, combined industry shipments for November 2007 are down 0.6 percent and bookings are down 3.5 percent. The combined (rigid and flex) industry book-to-bill ratio in November 2007 remained positive at 1.06.
"November PCB industry sales in North America continued just slightly under last year's sales for the same month," said IPC President Denny McGuirk. "But the book-to-bill ratios have remained positive and the fundamentals appear to be in good shape," he added.
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 two to three months.
Book-to-bill ratios and growth rates for rigid PCBs and flexible circuits combined are heavily affected by the rigid PCB segment. Rigid PCBs represent an estimated 88 percent of the current PCB market in North America, according to IPC's World PCB Production and Laminate Market Report for the Year 2006.
The Role of Domestic Production
IPC's monthly survey of the North American PCB industry tracks bookings and shipments from U.S. and Canadian facilities, which provide indicators of regional demand. These numbers do not measure U.S. and Canadian PCB production. To track regional production trends, however, IPC asks survey participants for the percent of their reported shipments that were produced domestically (i.e., in the USA or Canada). In November 2007, 84 percent of total PCB shipments reported were domestically produced. Domestic production accounted for 84 percent of rigid PCB and 88 percent of flexible circuit shipments in November by IPC's survey participants. These numbers are significantly affected by the mix of companies in IPC's survey sample, which remains constant throughout each calendar year, but may change with the January survey results.
Bare Circuits Versus Assembly
Flexible circuit sales typically include value-added services such as assembly, in addition to the bare flex circuits. In November, the flexible circuit manufacturers in IPC's survey sample indicated that bare circuits accounted for about 54 percent of their shipment value reported for the month. This is considerably lower than the typical proportion of bare circuits in flexible circuit sales. Assembly and other services, however, make up a large and growing segment of flexible circuit producers' business. This figure is also sensitive to changes in the survey sample, which may occur at the beginning of each calendar year.
IPC (www.IPC.org) is a global trade association based in Bannockburn, Ill., dedicated to the competitive excellence and financial success of its 2,500 member companies which represent all facets of the electronic interconnection industry including design, printed circuit board manufacturing and electronics assembly. As a member-driven organization and leading source for industry standards, training, market research and public policy advocacy, IPC supports programs to meet the needs of an estimated $1.5 trillion global electronics industry. IPC maintains additional offices in Taos, N.M.; Arlington, Va.; Garden Grove, Calif.; Stockholm, Sweden; and Shanghai, China.