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Behind The Surge In Demand For MLCC Markets
Jan 13, 2018

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Since the third quarter of 2017, the price of passive components has continued to rise.Products are mainly involved in MLCC and R - Chip (Chip resistor), MLCC increase in more than 20% on average, R - Chip increase slightly smaller than MLCC, in MLCC products, often products increase is small, small size, high capacitance and other high-end MLCC products increase the most.

In response to questions from investors on the interactive platform, MLCC, a listed company, said that the supply of MLCC would continue to be tight.Since the beginning of the third quarter of 2016, the news of the shortage of MLCC has been widely reported. By 2017, the tension between supply and demand has not been alleviated, and the price increase has become the unified action of the industry.


In the first three quarters of this year, major MLCC manufacturers including fenghua hi-tech, huaxin technology, guotai, JINPEI electronics and other major MLCC manufacturers have issued price increases, and some manufacturers have raised their prices more than once.At the end of September, the company released a notice of the extension of the MLCC delivery date, suspension of orders and price increases, and the extent of the market's tension.In the fourth quarter, chaozhou three-ring is released as early as October of MLCC price increase notice, by over 15%, at the same time delivery by 1 months to 4 months, sounded the horn of MLCC industry continues to rise in price in the fourth quarter.According to the current situation, the imbalance between supply and demand will continue until 2018.

Demand side effect

So, what are the reasons behind the increase in MLCC?


MLCC is a chip multilayer ceramic capacitor, which is widely used in various military and civilian electronic equipment and electronic equipment, such as computer, test instrument and so on.Ceramic capacitors account for 56 percent of the domestic demand structure for capacitors.This round of price increase is mainly due to the imbalance between supply and demand, and at the same time, the cost side also helps to increase the price.


First, observe the downstream requirements of multilayer ceramic chip capacitor.It has to be said that this round of price increase, downstream demand plays an important role.MLCC is mainly used in four major fields, including 28% of audio and video equipment, 24% of mobile phones, 18% of PC, 12% of cars, and 82% of the total., consumer electronics and automobile electronics function structure with mobile phones, car interior upgrades to improve step by step, the demand for ceramic capacitor is obviously improved and become the tipping point of this round of price boom.


Mobile phone field

At present, mobile phone manufacturers, one of the main ways of optimizing the user experience is by improving the performance of mobile phone batteries, among them, the quick charge have higher request for capacitor technology, the growing demand for MLCC.Take the recent IPhone X, for example, where the market estimates that its use of MLCC is up to 1,100, compared with 900 in the previous IPhone 7, up more than 20% over the course of a year.In addition, mainstream handset manufacturers such as huawei and samsung continue to upgrade their functions, and the speed of product update iteration is significantly improved, and the demand for MLCC is also under pressure.


Automobile industry

New energy vehicles have become one of the main trends in the global automotive industry.Global electric car sales in 2015, 545000 or so, permeability is less than 1%, but the governments promoted the use of new energy vehicles and optimum power battery and other related manufacturing technology continues to mature, the future of new energy vehicles is expected to significantly improve permeability.Worldwide electric vehicle sales are expected to reach about 1.08 million this year, with penetration rising to 1.2 percent.By 2020, the penetration rate will rise to around 3%.


The new energy trend of cars will greatly increase the demand for high-end MLCC such as high volume.According to energy economists predict that global electric cars will continue to increase, the permeability global electric car sales in 2017 is expected to 1.2%, to 2030, the global electric car sales will account for 15% of the global new car sales - 30%.


In addition, some developed countries has developed a fuel automobile exit timetable, and there are more countries such as China prepares to join exit array, new energy vehicles penetration rate is expected to improve in the future.According to the calculation, the demand of pure electric vehicles for MLCC is about six times that of ordinary internal combustion engines. Therefore, the accelerated popularization of new energy vehicles is bound to promote the demand for MLCC.In addition, the trend of intelligent automobile has strong demand for automotive electronics, so MLCC has been driven.

According to murata, all kinds of global auto production forecast, we measure the annual global demand for automotive MLCC, by 2024, the global automotive MLCC demand will reach 676.2 billion, compared with 336.9 billion in 2015 has doubled, demand for global car demand MLCC compound annual growth rate of 8%.

The supply side

Let's look at the supply side.From a global perspective, MLCC manufacturers is relatively concentrated, distribution in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and other places, manufacturer murata giant, taiyo yuden, samsung motors, countries and TDK combined occupy 85% of the market, and domestic leading elegance tech centers did not occupy much advantage in the international market.This has also led to a limited expansion of the industry's overall capacity, even in the face of high revenue and high profits.


Overall, under the situation of downstream demand structure change, suppliers are also adjust the product structure, low value-added product line is weakened gradually, gradually expanded product line of high-end and high profits.However, according to the current shortage of products, it is clear that the supply layer changes are not up to the demand side.Therefore, in addition to price, supplier generally used to extend the date of delivery way to relieve stress, especially in the second half, many mobile phone manufacturers to launch new models, demand for MLCC further formation pressure test, each big manufacturer inventory levels down obviously.


Huge mark-up of the largest countries this year, said last month before the company safety stock is 75-75 days, but now has been reduced to 45 days or so, the follow-up if further down to 30 days, the amount is only price system.The implication is that if tensions do not ease effectively, the next big thing will be to raise prices.

Cost structure

Finally, the cost structure is analyzed.MLCC cost mainly come from raw materials, packaging, etc., among them, the raw material have the start, in the high capacitance MLCC, ceramic powder accounted for more than 35-45%, internal electrode and external electrode respectively occupies 5% 10%, electrode involved in nickel, copper, silver, etc.Ceramic powder suppliers also exhibit a high degree of monopoly, with Japanese manufacturers accounting for 70% market share and domestic ceramic materials accounting for about 10%.


Because of the supply of ceramic powder upstream, the price of the manufacturer has also been raised.In addition, the price centers of nickel, copper, silver and other metals have all improved from last year.Therefore, on the whole, the cost side has a good supporting effect on the MLCC quotation.

International big plant dynamics.

The MLCC global first team is working hard to support apple's new generation of products, and further compression of the non-apple MLCC capacity supply is a reality.The following is a talk about the major global MLCC manufacturers.


1. The sun induces tens of billions of expansion.

Taiyo Yuden is the third largest MLCC plant in the world, after Murata and samsung.8th of this month, the company announced that a subsidiary of niigata taiyo yuden will invest about 10 billion yen to build the new factory (no. 3 workshop), MLCC, new factory building will be started in April 2018, completed in December.

Taiyo yuden said, because of the high performance processing for smartphones, electric vehicles, plus from industrial machine, energy, medical/health care in the areas of demand, to boost demand MLCC is expected to continue to expand.


In 2007, the company mainly produced small and large-capacity MLCC products, and the construction of plant no. 2 in 2015 will be completed in 2015, and the new plant will be built again in the past three years.


The no. 3 plant is expected to start production in March 2019, the nikkei said on Thursday, when the production capacity of the new solar inductor, MLCC, will expand to 1.6 times the current rate (up to 60 percent).


2, Murata,

For a long time, due to the gradual saturation of the market supply and the change of customer demand, many MLCC manufacturers have been adjusting their product direction and moving into the related fields of miniaturization and RF components.TDK retired from plain MLCC market, as the world's largest MLCC manufacturers, MURATA has officially announced big compression under 0603, 0805, 1210/1 uf holographic product capacity (including car rules GCM series), began to miniaturization of all marketing materials.


This change leads to extreme shortage of 1, 2 quarter of the market, the affected are: power supply, home appliance, office, automotive and other industries, part of the machine factory, such as yageo, HuaXinKe, grain and began to gradually turn a single effect.With the market supply and demand ratio, if the order demand is 100%, MURATA can only meet 80% of the demand, and the delivery period has been extended for more than 4 weeks.


With the launch of apple's new iPhone X, murata's production capacity has largely shifted to apple, adding to the difficulty of producing smaller MLCC capacity.In fact, since the beginning of the second quarter, MLCC high-capacity materials have been allocated materials, which can only partially meet the requirements.


3, TDK

In mid-2016, TDK, a large Japanese plant, sent a letter to clients saying it would withdraw from the general MLCC and said it would extend the delivery date to the client for two months.In addition, TDK also requires customers to search for suppliers.TDK is the 5th largest factory in the world, accounting for about 7% of the global market.In 2017, TDK greater China will release the latest MLCC price adjustment letter in the form of a formal letter to raise the price of the whole series in supply materials.


4, samsung,

Because of the explosion, samsung began to strengthen product control, leading to the extension of MLCC delivery.


In 2016, samsung's new flagship Galaxy Note 7 was blamed for battery problems, leading to several phone explosions around the world.After the accident, the samsung group was increasingly strict in quality control, and the delivery period of the samsung motor MLCC was extended, resulting in a gap of more than 30% in the continental MLCC in the second half of 2016. The current situation has not improved much.

The prospects are promising and worth tracking.

After analysis of the industrial chain of MLCC, the basic can be concluded that for nearly a year, there was no price of ceramic capacitor, at the same time, the current support price factor also has not eliminated, therefore, the industry boom is expected to continue.Under the effect of price increase, the future development prospect of listed companies with relevant business layout is worth keeping track of.


Elegance tech center: the main business for electronic components products, active investment company main production projects, including "produce 1.4 billion only 0201 MLCC technical modification project", "MLCC automation promote technological transformation project", "new nissan 1 billion laminated inductor technical modification project", the project reaches the postpartum thickening of the company profits.At present, the company's MLCC can produce 11 billion, and it will reach 13 billion by the end of the year, and the next 3 years will be improved successively.


Japanese research institutions JAPAN ECONOMIC CENTER of a 2017 MLCC outlook report, general mobile phones, smart phones, tablets, personal computers and other consumer electronic equipment as the use of commodities, forecasts for global demand MLCC, will rise to 552.1 billion in 2017, compared with 2016, 2017 MLCC demand forecasts will increase 10.6 billion again.However, the 2017 annual production capacity of each manufacturer will be less than 9 billion, and whether it can guarantee production in this complex situation will be a severe test for the capacity of the industry supply chain.