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30 Apr 2020

Industry

COVID-19 to cause 21% plunge in Thai PCB exports for 2020 before rebound next year in response to 5G trends and changing consumer behavior (Current Issue No.3103)

            The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 is likely putting pressure on the value of Thailand's exports of Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs), with an expected contraction of 20.9 to 23.6 percent, for an estimated export value of USD 927.4 - 960.8 million, in line with reduced global demand for electronic products. This development is mainly the result of global economic recession and a substantial slowdown in investment for 5G infrastructure across many countries, despite a partial boost from a temporary surge in demand for ICT products during 2Q20 prompted by lockdown measures in many countries.

               After the crisis is resolved and the global economy begins to show positive trends once more, which will likely occur in 2021, electronic products are expected to make a global recovery aided by the return of investment in 5G infrastructure for multiple countries that are competing for leadership in this new digital era. This resurgence will also allow Thai PCB exports to regain their footing and expand at 3.0 to 5.5 percent, or an estimated export value of USD 955.4 - 1,013.5 million in 2021.

                    ​Concerning business opportunities in Thailand, the emerging trends of the 5G era have opened the door to a new upward trend in electronic goods. The Thai PCB manufacturing industry will likely be able to keep up with this trend to a certain extent since most 5G electronic products still utilize the PCBs that were used prior to this point. The exception, however, is high frequency processing circuits, which remain an important issue that must be addressed to promote increased investment in Thailand.