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Output of Taiwan PCB firms forecast to grow almost 3%

TAIPEI--The production value of Taiwan's printed circuit board (PCB) makers is expected to grow almost 3 percent year-on-year in 2014 on the back of an economic recovery, according to a research report.

In the report, Jiang Bor-Feng, senior analyst at the Industrial Economics & Knowledge Center (IEK) under the Industrial technology Research Institute, said the output of Taiwan's PCB manufacturers could total NT$537.8 billion (US$17.93 billion) in 2014, up 2.99 percent from 2013.

The almost 3-percent increase will reflect accelerating growth momentum in the local PCB industry from the 1-percent annual growth seen in the past three years, Jiang said.

In 2013, the local PCB industry's output rose by only 1.32 percent annually to NT$522.2 billion, which included the production value of plants operated by Taiwanese PCB makers in China.

In the first quarter of this year, the production of Taiwanese PCB firms rose 8.5 percent from a year earlier to NT$125.3 billion, but the figure represented a 14.1-percent drop from the previous quarter.

Although the October-December period is usually a slow period for the industry, the comparison base was high.

Jiang said that after a sequential fall in the first quarter, sales began showing signs of growing in April and the second-quarter output could rise by a quarterly 5.5 percent and an annual 9.8 percent to NT$133.5 billion.

Output for the third quarter is expected to continue to grow but could fall in the fourth quarter due to the slow season effects, he said.

Meanwhile, Hung Chi-sheng, a manager at Taiwanese flexible PCB supplier TAIFLEX Scientific Co., said flexible PCB applications have been broadened, with wearable devices and automotive electronics the two most promising areas to explore.

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