Global copper foil shortage hits Pcb industry (Update)
The UK PCB industry is not alone in being affected by Global issues, especially those emanating from China, but this one is a biggy. After a year of uncertainty the reality has finally hit our shores and it is hitting hard.
The short story is that the copper foil used as the main conductor in PCB laminate is being diverted to more lucrative products which are in great demand globally. Primarily we are talking about batteries used in cars, which are experiencing growth of some 200-300% in 2017. This coupled with the fact that it is a lengthy process in bringing Copper mines into service the inevitable shortage of supply ensues. For a more detailed explanation please read this article.
In the short term we are experiencing price rises of over 50% in our core material. Currently there are no guarantees or assurances coming from the manufacturers so everyone is having to adopt a “wait and see” attitude – which is not great for business in anyone’s book.
At Minnitron Ltd we are carefully managing our stocks of laminate to ensure supply, but we are having to review pricing on a continual basis.
If you would like to know more please contact us and we would be more than happy to help.
There seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel for the foreseeable future. The cost of laminate has increased further to over and 80% increase since the beginning of 2017. There are some noises coming from China which point towards a softening of pricing but indications are that any positive reactions will take well into 2018 until they trickle through to Europe.
As ever I will keep you updated with the latest information as we get it and how it will affect our industry.