Passive components see increasing lead times
Capacitor, resistor and inductor markets all showed signs of increased demand in August 2021, with lead times for all three product lines reaching new heights.
Lead times increased in August 2021 by 2.1 percent, writes Dennis M. Zogbi, Paumanok Publications, Inc., in a TTi MarketEye Report. This follows a 3.4 percent month-to-month increase in July 2021, which has subsequently taken capacitor demand and lead times back to 2019 levels. Lead times for all capacitors increased on a month-to-month basis, but tantalum, aluminium and plastic film markets remain more challenging when compared to MLCCs.
Lead times for MLCCs showed increasing lead times in August compared to July 2021, with lead times for the 0603 and 1206 EIA increasing and remaining unchanged for the larger other chip case sizes. Primary sources are forecasting a 15 percent increase in MLCC sales for the September 2021 quarter (on a quarter-to-quarter basis).
Tantalum capacitor lead times continued to be among primary concerns in August 2021, as lead times continued to extend for multiple product lines and the price of tantalum approached USD 100 per pound. This is due to the pandemic’s impact on the supply chain from Central Africa, where the majority of ore is sourced globally. In August 2021, the lead times for both the conductive polymer type and the manganese type tantalum capacitors increased, with all case sizes and styles now at 40-week lead times.
In August of 2021, resistor market lead times increased by 5.8 percent on a month-to-month basis. The supply chain for resistors remains impacted by massive price increases in raw materials such as ruthenium and the availability of alumina substrates and cores, the report continues.
The thick film chip resistors category registered a solid 30-week lead time for all chips in August 2021 as supply chain issues with ruthenium continued to plague the industry, along with “short-term” shutdowns of factories in Malaysia and the Philippines. The price of ruthenium stood at USD 725 an ounce in August 2021. The price is now 20 times what it has traditionally been (USD 44/oz) and remains a serious problem for manufacturers.
Markets for thin film resistors continued to show a tightening across the board in August 2021, and in the prior months, in response to tightening thick film chip markets.
Discrete inductor demand increased sharply in August 2021, rising 13.75 percent – a huge jump, following spikes in both July and June. Factories in Malaysia and the Philippines have been impacted by the pandemic and have idled production, resulting in supply chain disruptions and changing lead times. The increase in demand is seen for all types of discrete inductors across the board.