2020-budget and forecasts for the current year, mainly concerning printed circuit boards and electromechanical components.
The forecasts formulated at the beginning of 2020 almost precisely took place. The real growth of semiconductors’ sales amounted to 99.5% of the expected one. Stability was mentioned for passive and the others: the variations occurred were approximately one billion dollars per category. In EMEA the feared downturn occurred, owing partly to Coronavirus crisis and partly to a negative trend already in course for some years. While Japan and China registered modest variations, developments took place in Americas and in the Rest Asia Pacific, that is to say in South Korea, Taiwan and in new markets: Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam.
The “other” components
Printed circuit boards were affected by a modest -1.5% drop, fully caused by the negative sale trend in EMEA. They are partly Coronavirus crisis consequences but partly this derives also from the delocalization of electronic production activities from Europe to Far East. Anyway, a report by ZVEI association highlights a recovery for sales in the last 2020-quarter and in the first three months of 2021 in the three Central-Europe Countries Germany, Austria and Switzerland. In the other geographical areas, on the contrary, the consumption of this component is essentially stable.
The situation is different for electromechanical components and for the others, which are essentially interconnections. Here, versus an analogous negative trend still surveyed in EMEA, a recovery started in Americas, in China and in the rest of Asia Pacific. Besides, China confirms to be the primary market also for the two categories together, representing 36.7% of the world total.
In 2020, computer industry and communications together absorbed 50% of the total for printed circuit boards, while 15% went to consumer electronics (which conventionally includes also white goods). Automotive, affected by the crisis during the year, absorbed only 10% whereas the remaining 25% was split between armaments and miscellaneous industry. Automotive and computer industry together still represent about two thirds of the total for electromechanical components. The incidence of the first dropped in 2020 but it was counterbalanced by the growth of the second.
WSTS expects the worldwide semiconductor market growth to rise up to 19.7% in 2021, which corresponds to a market size of US$ 527 billion. Besides, the 4.5% growth is forecast for printed circuit boards, worth 70 billion dollars. Similar increases are expected to occur for passive, for electromechanical components and the others.
Data source: WSTS, IDEA Electronics, ZVEI