Asia Production – Update from the global PCB Supply Chain

March 2021

Dear Sir or Madam,

As you know, the entire electronics industry is currently struggling with acute and massive challenges in the supply chain. This is especially relevant for the trading business with PCBs from the Asian region. We are of course following the development of the situation in the PCB supply chain very closely and would like to inform you about the latest updates.

Shortage of base material in Asia continues to increase
It is predicted that the shortage will continue until at least the end of Q2 2021 and that the situation will only slowly ease after that. The availability of copper and glass fibres are currently the biggest challenges. The base material manufacturers have therefore significantly reduced the supply quotas for PCB manufacturers in February. Most of these quotas were used up in just a few days. For many manufacturers this means that it will not be possible to order again until next month.

The lead-time for materials is extended
The material shortage extends the lead-time of the basic material by at least 2 to 4 weeks. For special materials, it can be significantly longer.
Under the current circumstances, base material suppliers prefer to produce thinner laminate material with less material usage, resulting in a shortage of laminates thicker than 0.6 mm or 2Oz copper.
Base material suppliers can only partially confirm delivery schedules or have to significantly extend lead-time, depending on product specification and volume.

The cost of base materials continues to rise
Following several price increases already implemented due to material shortages combined with increased demand, further base material price increases are expected.
The cost of base material has continued to increase since January 2021. This is particularly evident for thicker laminates (0.6 mm+ or 2Oz+). It is difficult to predict when the end of this price increase will be reached.

Freight capacity remains tight
Due to Covid-19, the majority of the flights are still cancelled. Airfreight therefore remains very cost-intensive. The increased global demand cannot be fully covered by sea freight either, which is why a buffer of at least 5 days should generally be included for the entire logistics.

Würth Elektronik CBT Asia Production will continue to work closely with all partners in the supply chain and look for possible solutions to mitigate the effects for you to the best possible extent. On the other hand, we recommend that you plan production with more lead-time by referring to the current material lead-time: The earlier, the better!
A forecast that is as accurate as possible at the earliest possible time will help us to continue to supply you with punctuality and to minimize price fluctuations.

We thank you for your attention and hope for your support to overcome the current difficulties together.

With kind regards

Würth Elektronik GmbH & Co. KG

Alexander Görz
Commercial Head of Asia Production

Manuel Mairhofer
Technical Head of Asia Production