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PCB Market Outlook in 2023
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2022 PCB market overview

The global PCB market grew by 1% in 2022 to reach $81.7 billion, mainly driven by the packaging substrate market. But there is a huge growth gap between product applications, customers and the size of PCB companies.

2022 PCB Market Overview

In terms of product applications, demand for PCs, TVs, games, and consumer electronics was very weak in 2022, while demand for servers, satellite communications, and advanced packaging was very strong.

In terms of customers, the demand for HDI PCB and FPC for Apple products remained stable in 2022, but orders for Chinese smartphones decreased compared with last year.

In terms of packaging substrates, especially FCBGA, the market was very strong in 2022, with an increase of more than 30%; rigid PCBs for consumer electronics and personal computers were very weak, with a decline of more than 10%.

In terms of PCB companies, in 2022, some of the world’s leading PCB and packaging substrate companies achieved rapid growth, while the revenue of small and medium-sized PCB companies decreased significantly. The main reason is that high inventory and weak market demand have reduced the demand for most PCB markets. In addition, the growth trend of the global market has also begun to slow down rapidly since the second quarter.

PCB market situation in the first quarter of 2023

In 2022, Prismark lowered the PCB market forecast from 2.9% to 1%, mainly due to the sharp decline in PCB production in the fourth quarter of 2022.

The global PCB production value dropped by nearly 8% quarter-on-quarter in the fourth quarter of 2022, while the average quarter-on-quarter change in the fourth quarter of the past 10 years (from 2012 to 2021) is 2.6%. In addition to the quarter-on-quarter decline, the fourth quarter of 2022 also saw a larger year-on-year decline of about -15%.

In the first quarter of 2023, all PCB market segments, including package substrates, are expected to experience negative growth for the following reasons:

  • Weak demand for consumer electronics, personal computers, smartphones, etc.
  • Inventory adjustments for most market segments, including the semiconductor market.
  • PCB production is expected to decline by 13% sequentially and by 20% year-on-year.
  • In the first quarter of 2023, the output value of packaging substrates is expected to decline by more than 15% from the previous quarter due to lower production volume and lower ASP. ABF substrates, which saw substantial growth from 2020 to 2022, are also showing signs of weakness.
  • Many suppliers of PCB, FPC and packaging substrates say that the capacity utilization rate in the first quarter of 2023 will not exceed 50%.

2023 PCB market forecast

2023 will be a challenging year, with weak demand and high inventories continuing to affect demand in the first half of 2023. High inflation and high interest rates are also likely to persist.

2023 PCB Market Forecast

In the electronics market, the PC market is expected to drop to -5% or more; the server market will grow in the low single digits, around 3%, mainly driven by CSP companies; There may be a slight increase of smartphone shipments in China; Apple smartphone sales may be flat or down; car shipments may be 87 million or slightly higher.

In 2023, the global market will drop from US$81.7 billion to US$78.4 billion, which is expected to drop by 4%; the packaging substrate market may drop by more than 8%; MLB and FPC will drop by 3% to 2%; HDI will drop by 2%.

Development trend of global PCB market

In the next five years, the global PCB market may grow from US$81.7 billion in 2022 to US$98.4 billion in 2027, mainly driven by the following applications:

  • For server/storage/artificial intelligence systems, large-size and advanced substrates and low-loss specialty motherboards are key growth drivers.
  • In terms of automotive electronics, there are EV and ADAS.
  • In terms of communication electronic equipment, there are 5G millimeter wave and foldable mobile phones, high-speed network and satellite wireless communication.

Global PCB Market

PCB market growth will also come from the following product technologies:

  • SAP for FCBGA and mSAP for FCCSP, memory and SiP/module substrates.
  • High-speed and high-frequency laminates for servers, artificial intelligence, wired and wireless infrastructure.
  • Any layer and carrier board HDI boards suitable for 5G mobile phones, laptops, PCs, tablets, automotive electronics, VR/AR, wearable device modules, etc.
  • Low-loss FPCs for automotive applications, such as EV battery management systems.

China will still be the main PCB production base, but the products will focus more on high-added value; the products of Japanese, Taiwan and South Korean companies will still be based on packaging substrates; in terms of military, industrial and medical PCBs, the American and European markets will benefit.

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