National governments in Southeast Asian countries, including Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia, have been instituting increasingly stringent pandemic control measures in response to the intensifying Covid-19 pandemic in these countries. Remarkably, these countries are all hotspots in the electronic component supply chain, and Malaysia, home to many semiconductor packaging and testing facilities as well as passive component fabs, has now come under the international spotlight as a result.
In particular, Malaysia’s MCO 3.0 (Movement Control Order 3.0) lockdown, which was extended on June 1, specifically excludes the semiconductor industry, as this industry boasts relatively high market revenue. As such, packaging and testing facilities are currently operating normally in Malaysia, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations.
On March 18, 2020, the Malaysian government first implemented similar pandemic control measures, under which only about 50% of private businesses were allowed to operate. The semiconductor industry and medical services were notably excluded from the restrictions at the time, given the former’s high revenue and the latter’s critical importance during emergencies.
Despite the heightened lockdown of the MCO 3.0, under which only certain essential economic activities are allowed to function, some aspects of the MCO 3.0’s restrictions are relatively more lenient, as this policy specifies only 40% of private business employees must adopt WFH. Incidentally, as previously mentioned, the MCO 3.0 does not apply to the semiconductor industry.
As manufacturing operations and lead times of passive components become constrained, end clients’ procurement activities remain uncertain in 2H21
On the other hand, TrendForce indicates that the passive component market, which is also a key industry in Malaysia, will likely face supply-side bottlenecks as a result of the MCO 3.0, affecting such suppliers as Taiyo Yuden, Walsin Technology, NDK, and Epson. Under the latest restrictions, product lead times in the passive component supply chain, along with the state of the transportation industry (which determines shipping and delivery schedules of passive components), will become key determinants of whether client orders can be fulfilled on time.
In addition, brands in Europe and North America will begin adjust their orders for late-3Q21 in June and July. Notebook brands including Dell and HP are not only expected to maintain their orders for 2H21, but also taking measures to ensure a steady supply of IC components, while Apple will begin procuring components for its upcoming iPhone 13 from the passive component supply chain in July.
Although these orders are expected to provide upward momentum for the passive component market in 2H21, the resurgence of the pandemic in Southeast Asia, as well as whether the shortage of semiconductor components will be alleviated going forward, will affect clients’ procurement activities for MLCC (multilayer ceramic capacitors) in 2H21.
On the whole, although the packaging and testing operations of major IDMs (Intel, Infineon, and Texas Instruments) and OSAT operators (ASE, Amkor, TFME, and Hua Tian) in Malaysia remain unaffected for the time being, TrendForce believes that the MCO 3.0 will likely have an impact on the supply and demand of the global passive component market in 2H21.