PCB prices to rise on copper foil shortage, says broker

November 14, 2017 // By Peter Clarke
A shortage of copper and copper foil for use by the printed circuit board (PCB) industry is likely to send prices higher according to Raymond Goh, COO of Elmatica AS (Oslo, Norway), a PCB broker.

Goh said that the global output of copper is not increasing while demand for copper in lithium batteries for automotive applications is and that as a result a current shortage of copper foil will persist. On top of this China is planning to ban the importation of electronic waste, a significant source of recycled copper, Goh said.

Although others will undoubtedly continue to recyle electronic waste China's exit would represent a disruption to the process creating a temporary decrease in copper supply.

Elmatica advises its customers to place orders early and plan for longer lead times particularly leading up to and beyond the Chinese New Year period in February 2018. Customers should also approve more than one type of laminate, in relation to copper thickness and insulator material, and several PCB manufacturers, to help cope with spot shortages.

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