Q3: Have you noticed any specific changes in the medical electronic sector and the demand for components?
Mark: Medical has always been a good sector for us, but unsurprisingly we've seen a huge increase in demand, particularly across all types of sensors. Microcontrollers, analog, LCD displays, and pretty much anything that goes into a ventilator have grown significantly. Demand has been well above normal and maintaining our high inventory levels has meant we can deliver from stock – something that we are particularly pleased to be able to offer considering the intended purpose and urgency of these components.
Q4: What is the forecast looking like for the remainder of 2020 and into 2021? Are there any predictions you are confident about?
Mark: We started the year forecasting 8% growth overall, being equal across our three regions of Asia, the Americas, and Europe. As of June 2020, that growth has shaped up to become 6% in the Americas, 5% in Europe and 20% in Asia. The hardest thing to predict is how it will go from here. Already we went from a -40% run rate in China to +20%, which shows the dramatic shift over a relatively short period.
The next three months will be crucial as production is starting again in parts of Europe and the Americas. The market requires demand to work, but, for example, there are 40 million people in the US not working currently, which means they are not spending. Having said this, we firmly believe the electronics sector is not going to be hit as badly as the entertainment and hotel sectors, since innovation is still continuing.
The real unknown is the rate of staff returning to work and getting our economies back on track. The hope is that we shall see this happen during the summer. There is potential that we may see a better than average summer in Europe, as companies focus on getting back to work - it is hard to see the usual summer rush to vacation just as lockdowns are lifting.
Jeff: From the product and market trend perspective, 5G will continue to drive consumption. Government investment in 5G deployment as an economic stimulus package may happen, creating even more demand. It is no surprise that our RF product lines are experiencing significant demand across the board, including RF power transistors, RF filters and specialist RF interconnect.
Mark: All of our 27 locations around with world remain open and we’ve taken measures to protect our staff and slow the spread of the virus. We're still hiring when we'll need to hire people, we've had no furloughs, we've had no layoffs and we should hit $2 billion this year. Against the backdrop of COVID, we remain strong and continue to invest in our people who are working extremely hard to process orders so that design-chains and supply-chains around the world remain open.
About the authors:
Mark Burr-Lonnon is Senior Vice President, EMEA, Asia and Global Service at Mouser Electronics - www.mouser.com
Jeff Newell is Senior Vice President, Products at Mouser Electronics.