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Printed Circuit Board Shipments Declined in October

Combined shipments of rigid printed circuit boards and flexible circuits decreased 9.6 percent in October compared to October 2010, according to Association Connecting Electronics Industries. New orders for board and flexible circuits declined 0.1 percent.

Compared to September 2011, combined industry shipments for October 2011 decreased 11.9 percent and bookings (new orders) decreased 1.4 percent.

The book-to-bill ratio for printed circuit boards was 0.99, the same as in September.
The book-to bill ratio for rigid board and flexible circuits was 0.99, the same as September. That means board manufacturers received $99 in new orders for every $100 of boards they shipped.

“North American PCB sales are down from the previous month, but this is a normal seasonal pattern,” said Sharon Starr, IPC market research director.

Rigid PCB shipments were down 9.4 percent and bookings were up 1 percent in October 2011 compared to October 2010. Year to date, rigid PCB shipments dropped 1.3 percent and bookings fell 9.8 percent. Compared to September 2011, rigid PCB shipments decreased 10.3 percent and rigid bookings posted no growth. Rigid boards account for about 89 percent of the North American printed circuit board industry.

Flexible circuit shipments in October 2011 dropped 11.3 percent and bookings declined 10.3 percent compared to October 2010. Year to date, flexible circuit shipments increased 0.3 percent and bookings increased 1.7 percent. Compared to the previous month, flexible circuit shipments decreased 25.8 percent and flex bookings were down 14.3 percent.

Flexible circuit sales typically include value-added services such as assembly, in addition to the bare flexible circuits.