As we enter the second quarter of 2019, how is the electronic component market shaping up for UK electronics manufacturers?
In this blog post we provide a snapshot of the latest news and highlights from the electronic component marketplace, including capacity and lead-time issues, the continuing effects of allocation, pricing uncertainty and the state of the global economy.
Multi Layer Ceramic Capacitors (MLCCs)
- After an extended period of uncertainty it seems there's finally some light at the end of the tunnel for MLCCs as they slowly become more readily available.
- While pricing may not be reducing just yet, there are at least signs that it is stabilising. And while some manufacturers still have long and extended lead-times – in some cases in excess of 40 weeks – fewer now appear to have formal allocation in place.
- The improvement in availability has also come sooner than many had anticipated, with many sources originally citing improvements from 2020 onwards.
- Lead-times on EEPROM, SRAM and DRAM memory have decreased. 8GB DDR3, however, is in highest demand, and therefore commanding a premium price.
- ATP Electronics have put mitigation steps in place to maintain steady supply to their existing customer base whilst they migrate to DDR4. ATP are also providing their own DDR3 8Gb components for modules using specific DDR3 memory.
Capacity and lead-time issues
- ST Microelectronics and Diodes Inc. appear to be struggling with capacity for small signal MOSFETS, where lead-times in excess of 40 weeks have been seen.
- On Semiconductor could be an alternative for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) during this period of constrained supply.
- Rohm are still battling with allocation issues, therefore extended lead-times are continuing, with allocation on EMD2, EMD2M, PMDU, PMDUM, TUSH, TUMD2S, UMD2M and USM until further notice.
- Many surface mount Rohm and Vishay resistors are now on allocation, however, improvement in lead-times can be seen with Yageo and some other competitors.
- TE connectors are experiencing lengthy lead-times, and relays are on full allocation.
- Xilinx lead-times are extending, so forecasting (and ensuring that these forecasts are accurate) is going to be crucial in helping to maintain continuity of supply. The advice is still to forecast and ensure schedules orders are in place wherever possible.
- Standard Programmable Logic devices are increasing in lead-time and pricing.
- MLCC pricing is not increasing at the rate seen over the past 12 months, but it must be noted that pricing is not looking like it will return to its pre-allocation levels at this stage.
- Wurth Electronic Group have imposed a blanket price increase that equates to 3% on their passive lines.
- The annual disruption from Chinese New Year has now improved, with capacity at most factories in the Far East at a more usual level.
- Copper pricing was at an 8-month high in March 2019, and continues to increase.
The Global Economy
- HIS Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing PMI rose to a 13 month high of 55.1 in March. The PMI has maintained the 50.0 benchmark, or above, for 32 months in a row. It is believed the increase is due to companies stockpiling both finished goods, and raw materials for Brexit preparations.
- CIPS found that 20% of manufacturing companies would look to ‘re-shore’ supply chains to the UK amid Brexit uncertainty.
- As of the 4th April 2019, gold is trading at £988 per ounce, falling slightly since the January and February 2019 highs.
- Silver prices have also decreased since January 2019 and are now trading at £11.56 per ounce.
- Oil pricing has not been maintained, and has slowly climbed over the past three months, to $68.63 per barrel.
- Stainless steel pricing in Europe increased as mills incrementally applied higher alloy surcharges to sale prices. This was a reaction to increased nickel pricing.
- The EU will review steel safeguards if a ‘No Deal’ Brexit goes ahead, the UK’s quota is likely to be based on historic usage.