Sales from consumer electronics are expected to slip this year, continuing a decline that began in December 2018. The Taiwanese PCB industry was first to signal stormy days ahead, and data from the global semiconductor industry for the same month backed up this gloomy forecast. Monthly revenue declined at an accelerated pace as global shipments for electronic components soften. This slowdown is felt throughout the consumer electronics industry.
The decline is in its third month now, and manufacturing companies are hoping for a turnaround soon. Market analysts are confident for a rebound during the third or fourth quarter leading up to the Christmas manufacturing season.
Taiwanese PCB shipments spiked during March; this could be a seasonal trend after the Chinese New Year vacation. Revenue for March showed positive growth compared to the same month last year. Overall, growth expanded during March; the only exception was the flexible circuit segment. In my opinion, Taiwanese electronics companies discovered new avenues for business and are not relying so much on smartphones sales.
Sales from the global semiconductor industry declined in March, but the rate of decline was smaller than previous months. Semiconductor shipments in China rebounded during March while other countries continue to decline, especially in North America.
Is this another trend leading to a recession for the global electronics market? I was optimistic with industry growth at the beginning of the year, but a new variable has shaken my optimism. The trade war between China and the U.S. heated up during May. Manufacturers throughout the world are facing difficulty as international companies shift manufacturing sites from China to other countries.
Both economic juggernauts realize a trade war will hurt both countries, and the unexpected is wreaking havoc. Stock markets from both countries were extremely volatile during the last two weeks. No one likes uncertainty. Headlines
1. MURATA (Component supplier in Japan) 4/26
Reported a record revenue of 1.575 trillion yen—14.8% growth from the previous year.
The battery business made a remarkable contribution.
2. CASIO (Electronics company in Japan) 5/7
Rolled out a new portable digital camera for skin doctors—199,000 yen for one unit.
3. Molex Japan (Connector supplier in Japan) 5/14
Added 4-pin and 6-pin models for the CP-6.5 board to cable connector series that eliminate misconnections by color-coded housing.
4. JDI (Display device manufacturer in Japan) 5/13
Developed a new flexible fingerprint sensor that does not have cracks by folding.
5. AIST (R&D organization in Japan) 5/14
Successfully produced an IC chip by Minimal Fab with a small volume for the aerospace equipment.
6. Taiyo Yuden (Component supplier in Japan) 5/14
Reported the highest revenue (+12.4%) and income (+74.3%) for the fiscal year of March 2019.
7. Renesas Electronics (Semiconductor company in Japan) 5/14
Reported the revenue in the first quarter—150.3 billion yens—which is a 19% decline from the same quarter of the previous year.
8. RIKEN (R&D organization in Japan) 5/15
Successfully controlled superconductive circuits using organic transistors.
9. Sharp (Electronics company in Japan) 5/16
Will enter the market of micro LEDs in the near future and recently unveiled the prototype model.
10. Nikkei XTECH (Industry media in Japan) 5/16The assist suit market has been expanding rapidly and will change our life and working style remarkably in the next 10 years.
Dominique K. Numakura is the managing director of DKN Research LLC. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information and news.