New Energy Vehicles lead to the price hiking in Printed Circuit Board Industry


ecently some printed circuit board companies hung up the price notice, proposed board prices rose 5% to 20% range. Since July, due to the tight supply for the copper foil from upstream, manufacturers raise the price, which led to a chain reaction from the printed circuit boards factories.

The hiking price is related to the increasing price of CCL (copper clad lamination), copper and other raw material.

"At the beginning of the year we expect a gap in the supply of copper foil, and did not expect it to come so fast. The New Energy Vehicles, the demand for copper foil increased sharply, resulting in the shortage supply of copper foil for the printed circuit boards. "A deputy general manager of copper production enterprises said. Besides, the popularity of electronic products and the replacement of the terminal market demand increases, which supports the price hiking.

China gets the world's largest PCB production and sales volume.

Copper foil is needed in the fabrication of lithium battery as a negative material carrier and negative current collector, as a vital material for lithium batteries. Last year (2016) the government gave new energy vehicles great policy concessions to stimulate the demand for new energy vehicles, leading to a substantial increase in the demand for copper.

Compared with the production of copper for the CCL (copper clad lamination), the production of copper foil for lithium batteries is easier, while latter profit per ton is even higher 15,000RMB to 20,000RMB (2,290$-3,077$).Many companies prefer turning more production capacity to orders of the lithium batteries.

The price rise did not affect the sales of printed circuit boards, and increase the profits margin for the printed circuit board factories.

The price increase of the products is greater than the upstream raw material price increase, and the profit of the printed circuit industry is still good.

The popularity of electronic products, upgrading and new products, the demands for printed circuit boards will continue to increase, which will be a important factor for the hiking price in the coming years.


The estimated copper shortages will reach about 20,000 tons. And copper enterprises will not rush increasing production capacity.

A few years before heavy investment in the copper foil business made the market oversupplied, many companies were forced to exit. For the current price increasing situation, copper enterprises are more cautious. The newly investment on the production line will have to wait about 18 months before in production. And the situation then is not sure.

On the other hand, the development of new energy vehicles raises the demand for copper, and the supply gap widened of copper foil needed for printed the circuit board industry. It is expected that the global sales of new energy vehicles will reach 3 million by 2020, and lithium copper foils (including power and non-power batteries) will climb from the current capacity of 70,000 -80,000 tons to 200,000 Tons. In China lithium copper demand will be from 30,000 -40,000 tons climbed to 100,000 tons line, accounting for more than 50% of global consumption.

In the short term supply shortage is difficult to improve the situation, the market demand is still increasing. Some industry data show that last year by the world's major electronics industry in the field of personal computers, smart phones and other products slowdown, and inventory adjustment and other factors, PCB industry output fell 3.7%. And in the demand of  New Energy Vehicles and some other innovations, from 2016 to 2020, the global PCB industry is supposed to meet an annual growth rate of 2.3%.


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