The world market for PCBs declined an estimated 2.2% in real terms in 2013, although real growth in North America was positive at 0.8%, according to IPC’s World PCB Production Report for the Year 2013. Developed by a team of the world's leading PCB industry analysts, the annual study is the definitive source of PCB production data, indicating what kinds of PCBs are being made where. World PCB production in 2013 was valued at an estimated $59.4 billion.
The IPC report contains estimates of 2013 PCB production value by 10 product categories and by 31 countries or sub-regions. PCB values of standard multilayer and integrated circuit (IC) package substrates are segmented by those having microvia structures and those with non-microvia structures. New in this year’s report is a further subdivision of flexible circuits into three sub-categories: One- and two-sided, multilayer, and rigid flex. The report also includes updates on specialty laminates and metal-core PCBs, as well as historical data on regional shifts in PCB production.
The data show that the worldwide flexible circuit market grew in 2013, while the rigid PCB market declined. Regional trends are also examined, including China's slowing production growth and Japan's fall from second place in the list of top 10 PCB-producing countries to fourth place. Thailand and Vietnam experienced the highest growth in PCB production.
Sharon Starr, IPC director of market research, explains, “Despite evidence of a small on-shoring trend in North America and Europe, most large companies still produce a substantial share of their PCBs off-shore.” The report shows that companies based in Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea, for example, are responsible for nearly two-thirds of world PCB production. U.S. companies account for about 10% of world PCB production, although the United States has less than a 5% share of world production within its borders.World PCB Production Report for the Year 2013 is available to IPC members for $475; the price for nonmembers is $950. For more information or to purchase the report, . For information on IPC market research programs, visit or contactwww.ipc.org.