PCB Industry Shipments in July Reflect Seasonal Decline
Aug 29, 2012
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Summer industry shipments of rigid PCBs and flexible circuits showed a decline that reflect normal seasonal patterns, according to IPC -- Association Connecting Electronics Industries.

IPC reported that July 2012 combined industry shipments of rigid PCBs and flexible circuits were down 2.6% from July 2011. Orders booked were down 8.4% from July 2011. Year to date, combined industry shipments were down 5.2% and bookings up 0.3%.

Compared to June 2012, combined industry shipments for July 2012 were down 16.0% and bookings were down 21.4%. The combined (rigid and flex) industry book-to-bill ratio in July 2012 decreased slightly but continued in positive territory at 1.01.

Rigid PCB shipments were down 4.2% in July 2012 from July 2011, and bookings were down 5.7%. Year to date, rigid PCB shipments were down 5.3% and bookings up 1.1%. Compared to June 2012, rigid PCB shipments were down 16.6% and rigid bookings were down 18.7%. The book-to-bill ratio for the North American rigid PCB industry in July 2012 continued to slip and registered 1.00, exactly at parity.

Flexible circuit shipments in July 2012 were up 15.4%, and bookings were down 35.0% from July 2011. Year to date, flexible circuit shipments were down 4.2% and bookings were down 7.7%. Compared to June 2012, flexible circuit shipments in July 2012 were down 9.1% and flex bookings were down 46.7%. The North American flexible circuit book-to-bill ratio dipped to 1.03, due to strong sales and weak orders for the month.

"The sharp declines in North American PCB sales and orders in July over the previous month reflect normal seasonal patterns," said Sharon Starr, IPC director of market research. "Strong flexible circuit sales in July cushioned the fall. This strong sales performance was not surprising given the high book-to-bill ratios for flex seen in the first half of the year."

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