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An Overview of Global PCB Industry in 2023

Printed circuit boards are key interconnects for assembling electronic parts. They not only provide electrical connections for electronic components, but also carry functions such as digital and analog signal transmission, power supply, and radio frequency microwave signal transmission and reception of electronic equipment.

According to Prismark statistics, the total output value of the global PCB industry reached US$81.741 billion in 2022, a year-on-year increase of 1.0%. With the continuous drive of new technology applications such as AI, 5G network communications, and new energy vehicles, it is estimated that the PCB industry will continue to grow steadily in the next five years. According to Prismark’s prediction, the output value of the global PCB industry will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 3.8% between 2022 and 2027, reaching US$98.388 billion by 2027.

Table of Contents

Future global PCB market forecast

In the next five years, the PCB market is likely to expand from US$81.7 billion in 2022 to US$98.4 billion in 2027, with a compound annual growth rate of 3.8%.

global PCB market
global PCB market

The PCB market is mainly driven by the following applications:

①Server/storage/AI system: Advanced packaging substrates and low-loss motherboards are the key growth drivers.

② Automotive electronics: EV and ADAS.

③ Communication electronic equipment: 5G millimeter wave and foldable mobile phones; high-speed network and satellite wireless communication.

Growth in the PCB market will also come from the following product technologies:

① Package substrate: SAP for FCBGA and mSAP for FCCSP, memory and SiP/module substrate.

②High-speed and high-frequency copper clad laminate for servers, AI, wired and wireless infrastructure.

③Substrates suitable for 5G mobile phones, NBPCs, tablet PCs, HDI PCB for automobiles, etc.

④Low-loss FPC for automotive applications.

In terms of production area, China will still be the main PCB production base, but it will focus on the development of high-value-added products, and mergers and acquisitions among enterprises are likely to occur. Japan, Taiwan and South Korea will rely more on packaging substrate production. The US and European markets are dominated by military, industrial and medical PCBs. Southeast Asia will accelerate industrial transfer.

2023 will be a year full of challenges, reflected in:

① Weak demand and high inventories will hurt demand through at least the first half of 2023.

② High inflation may last for many years.

③Economic recession may occur in the United States and Europe.

④ The war in Ukraine may continue, and the European energy crisis may continue.

From the electronic market point of view:

① The PC market is expected to further decline by 5% or more.

②The server market will grow by low single digits, about 3%, mainly driven by CSP companies.

③ The mobile phone market may remain flat. Shipments by Chinese smartphone suppliers may grow slightly. Apple smartphone sales could be flat or down.

④ Automobile production may be 87 million or slightly higher

2023 PCB market forecast

The rapid development of artificial intelligence technology represented by ChatGPT will promote the explosion of AI servers and products in the field of artificial intelligence. In the next five years, 5G, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, Industry 4.0, cloud servers, storage devices, automotive electronics, etc. will become new directions driving the growth of PCB demand. At the same time, the global electronic machine and the weak demand in the automotive industry will have a certain impact on the PCB industry. It is predicted that the growth rate of China’s PCB output value will slow down in 2023, reaching 309.663 billion RMB.

2021-2030 PCB market forecast
2021-2030 PCB market forecast

2023 PCB market forecast:
①Currently, the PCB market value is expected to drop from US$81.7 billion to US$78.4 billion, a decrease of 4%.

②The packaging substrate market may fall by more than 8%.

③Single and double panels are -7%; MLB and FPC are -3%, -2%; HDI boards are -2%.

④Inventory, weak demand and declining ASP are the killers of the market in 2023.

Industrial transfer in 2023:

• China has become a major manufacturing site for circuit boards.

•America, Europe and Japan become niche product markets.

• China Taiwan and South Korea focus on high-tech products.

•Southeast Asia has become a favorable investment location for Japanese and Korean companies.

• Investments from China to foreign countries in the PCB supply chain are mainly in Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Driven by technologies and new applications such as 5G communication, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, autonomous driving, and intelligent network connection, electronic products will continue to develop in the direction of integration, automation, miniaturization, lightweight, and low energy consumption, thereby promoting PCB continue to develop in the direction of high density, high integration, high speed and high frequency, high heat dissipation, light and thin, and miniaturization. 

The demand for packaging substrates, high-layer boards, HDI boards, rigid-flex PCB and other products will increase day by day. Among them, packaging substrates benefit from the evolution of packaging technology and the accelerated growth of semiconductor applications. In the medium and long term, their downstream demand will continue to grow at a high speed.

Conclusion

Economists predict that the economy will decline in 2023. Inflation, the Ukraine war, and the European energy crisis may continue. Weak demand and high inventories will continue to affect the global economy at least in the first half of 2023. 

In terms of the electronics market, NBPC is expected to further decline by 5% or more; the server market will grow by about 3% in the low single digits; the mobile phone market may be flat. Shipments from Chinese smartphone suppliers may grow slightly. Apple smartphone sales may be flat. Prismark predicts that the PCB market will decline by 4% in 2023. 

Specifically, the packaging substrate market may grow flat, and if there is a recession in the second half of 2023, the PCB market may be even worse, with a growth rate of -5% or lower. For the PCB industry, 2023 will be a difficult year.

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