source: Passive Component Magazine article
February 28, 2017 – Research, Development, IP
(CARY NC USA) Lead times for tantalum capacitors increased alarmingly in February 2017 on a month-to-month basis, as it became clear that shortages exist, especially for larger case size chips in the C, D and E/X case sizes. However, the reader should note that ALL tantalum capacitors have shown significant jumps in lead times for February. Lead-times for “C” case tantalum chip capacitors in both manganese and polymer (a popular mainstay of the notebook computer market), jumped by 65% in February.
Tantalum ore prices, which we also track, have NOT increased accordingly but we forecast will now increase heading into the June 2017 quarter.
OTHER passives, including large case size MLCC, thick and thin film resistors and chip inductors are also responding to tantalum’s lead and increasing in lead times accordingly.
The passive component raw material index is also up by 5% in February signifying a global increase in demand from electronics. The dollar continues to strengthen to the yen, won and NT$, but the shortage of tantalum, a Western product line, is creating value regardless of currency. All vendors reported for December 2016 quarter showing a 2.6% downturn in US dollars. The market in 2017 had been unusual, changing the forecasted value, but showing a shortage of units, resulting in price stability and price increases for tantalum.