The trend of passive components


Statistical sources for the various types of electronic components are very different one another. As a matter of fact, for semiconductors, the most important class of components, there are very precise surveys, carried out by trade associations but coordinated by a single central Body, World Semiconductors Trade Statistics (WSTS). An analogue coordination body on a world scale is on the contrary still missing for passive components. This results in a marked difference in the local classification criteria and then in the figures resulting from that.

Since 2013 the trade association of the German industries in the electrical and electronic sector has been releasing its evaluation, based on the synthesis of data of different provenience. We are referring to it in this article.

In the meaning used here, the category of passive components includes, according to the Zvei card, resistances, condensers, “inductive” or EMV/EMC components, piezo-ceramic and high-frequency components.

The global market value is then much higher than the one indicated in the previous rankings, less all-encompassing than this one. The trend on a world scale does not anyway differ from the general one of components: the -3.2% downturn in 2012, at the end of a long development period, and then a slight recovery in 2013, without anyway reaching the 2011 year’s level.

Different is the trend of the 4 big areas into which the sector statistics divide our planet. Emea, that’s to say Europe, Middle East and Africa, was more affected by the general crisis than other world zones, with the -11.8% decrease in 2012, reduced to -3.2% in 2013. In the ambit of this area, in 2013 Europe as such represented about 5.7 billion US dollars, with the 88% incidence on the total, while the remaining percentage goes to Middle East and Africa.

Americas and Japan followed the general trend: a slight downturn in 2012 and an equally modest recovery in 2013. On the contrary Asia Pacific, which constitutes 65.8% of the world consumption, is less affected by the 2012-crisis than other areas. In its inside, China alone represents about 2/3 of them, with a consumption of passive components amounting to 17.3 billion dollars in 2013.

Concerning the various types on a world scale, there are only approximate estimates. Condensers are the most important class, with the around 38% incidence on the total. Inductive EMC/EMV components, which constitute another 30%, hold the second place while resistances represent about 17%, and piezo-ceramic HF components and filters compose the remaining 16%.

Among the application sectors the car ranks first accounting for about 42% of the total consumption with its derivates, followed by the industrial electronics with 33%. Consumer electronics, which in this ranking includes also white goods, represents another 10%, while telecommunications and the data transmission account for the remaining 15%.



Usa and Japan are the main Countries that produce passive components. They represent together about 50% of the world production, for a total amount of 11 billion dollars ascribable to the first and 9 billions to the second. China ranks third in this list, with 18% and the fourth place is hold by South Korea, with 12%.

The other Far East Countries represent the majority of the remaining 20%, while the European production is limited.

The 13 leader companies producing passive components, defined “Top 13” by the expert Dennis Zogbim, are the following: AVX, Kemet, Murata, Nichicon, Nippon Chemi-Con,  Panasonic, Rubycon, Semco, Taiyo Yuden, TDK, Vishai, Walsin and Yageo.



The future trend of this market obviously depends on the main application sectors’. The crisis of the car industry hinders its expansion, while little relief comes from industrial electronics.

Official forecasts indicate a 3% growth on a world scale for 2014; driving regions will be Asia Pacific and in particular China and Americas. For Emea a stability situation, with results equalling 2013 year’s would already be a good outcome.




2011 2012 2013 % variat. 2013/12
EMEAOf which: Germany    7.61.9   6.71.8 6.51.8    -3.0=
Americas   3.7   3.6 3.7   2.8
Japan   3.6   3.4 3.5   2.9
Asia –Pacific  25.7 25.6 26.3   2.7
Total 40.6 39.3 40.0    1.8

Sources: EPCIA (European Passive Components Industries Association) , ZVEI (Zentralverband Elektrotechnik- und Elektronikindustrie)