One of Japan's strongest fields, a record

According to MoneyDJ, Japanese electronic components hold an unassailable position in the world, and their sales recently hit a new record. Among them, capacitor shipments reached a record level, and electronic parts shipments from Japanese factories recorded the largest increase since 2014, with shipments exceeding 300 billion yen for eight consecutive months, among which shipments from Europe and the United States doubled.

Global shipments of Japanese electronic parts manufacturers surged 38.2% year-on-year to 357.8 billion yen in April 2021, the eighth consecutive month of growth, driven by surging demand from Europe and the United States, according to statistics released by JEITA on June 30. Monthly shipments topped the 300 billion yen mark for the eighth consecutive month, the biggest increase since 2014, when data were available for comparison on JEITA's website.

In terms of regional conditions, all regional shipments are showing growth. Shipments of electronic parts to Japan rose 30.3% from a year earlier to 74.6 billion yen in April. Shipments to the Americas surged 129.2% to 34.1 billion yen. Shipments to Europe surged 103.4% to 34.4 billion yen. Shipments to China, home to factories that assemble electronic machines such as smartphones, rose 17.4 percent to 138.2 billion yen. Shipments to the rest of Asia jumped 46.0 percent to 76.3 billion yen.

One of Japan's strongest fields, a record

In terms of key items, capacitance shipments surged 39% year-on-year to 123.8 billion yen in April, marking the 11th straight month of growth and the eighth consecutive month of monthly shipments exceeding the 100 billion yen mark. The shipments were the same as the previous month (March 2021, 123.8 billion yen) and the highest since 2014, when comparable data were available on JEITA's website.

Connector shipments surged 33% to 48.2 billion yen, the eighth straight month of growth. Electrical resistance shipments rose 39 percent to 15.1 billion yen. Transformer shipments rose 36% to 3.6 billion yen. Inductor shipments rose 42 percent to 26.2 billion yen.

Shipments of Switch components, including touch panels, jumped 58% to 33.2 billion yen. Shipments of actuators used to protect smartphone cameras from hand tremors, among other things, jumped 61% to 22.4 billion yen. Shipments of radio frequency (RF) parts, including TV tuners, filters and wireless modules, rose 18 percent to 32.7 billion yen.

Major Japanese electronic components manufacturers include Kyocera, TDK, Nidec, Hitachi Metals, Nitto Denko, Alps Alpine, Murata Mfg, Taiyo Yuden, Hosiden, Nippon Electric Glass, Rohm, etc.

Demand looks good sun lure electricity to build MLCC material new plant

Sunshine announced on June 16 that in order to cope with the increased demand for MLCC, the market is expected to continue to expand due to the electronic vehicle and the demand from servers, base station communication equipment and 5G smart phones. It is planned to build a new MLCC plant to produce Barium Titanate, a MLCC material, within the plant. The construction of the new MLCC plant will start in September 2021 and is expected to be completed in December 2022 with an investment of about 5 billion yen (including plant costs only).

One of Japan's strongest fields, a record

MLCC capacity will increase by 10-15% this year (2021) compared with last year.

The MLCC market is expected to "grow at an annual rate of 5-10 percent," said Katsuo Moritsugi, executive director and head of thin film/Functional material solutions at Toyo Textile, the daily Industry Daily reported On June 15.

To cope with the increased demand, Toyo Textile will expand the release film capacity necessary for MLCC production. It plans to invest about 10 billion yen to build a new production line (new plant) in the Utsunomiya plant, which is expected to start production in 2024. Utsunomiya plant currently has an annual output capacity of 30,000 tons of MLCC release film, and the new plant planned to be built above has an annual output capacity of 20,000 tons. After the new plant is put into production, the annual output capacity of release film will be increased by about 70%.

Eight large electronics parts factories in Japan expand

Japan's eight major electronics makers are expected to invest 1 trillion yen in equipment for 2021 (April 2021-March 2022), up 30 percent year on year, driven by the popularity of electric vehicles and 5G, according to the Nikkei Industry Daily. Although customer inventories are likely to increase due to the worsening of the pandemic and the continued shortage of semiconductors, these manufacturers still see an expanding market in the medium to long term and look forward to expanding through aggressive investment.

Kyocera's equipment investment reached 170 billion yen in 2021, up about 45% year on year, setting a new high for two consecutive years. President Hideo Tanimoto said the company expects to increase its 5G-related parts production capacity by more than 10 percent compared to last year, as the company expects strong market demand.

Kyocera, which leads the world in ceramic packaging, plans to invest in a kawauchi factory in Kagoshima, Japan, and an ayanabe factory in Kyoto, Japan, which is responsible for organic packaging.

One of Japan's strongest fields, a record

TDK plans to invest 300 billion yen in equipment in 2021, of which 60 percent will be invested in technological innovation and research and development of power battery cells, company President Naonau Ishiguro said. It plans to increase production of battery cells for home storage systems and electric locomotives.

TDK's power cells, which are widely used by Chinese manufacturers of advanced electric locomotives, offer better acceleration than lead batteries and cylindrical lithium batteries, according to industry sources.

MLCC's equipment investment was lower than that of last year, but nakajima Geko, president of the company, said that the investment in land acquisition was included in last year's investment, and the investment in production line was the same or higher than that of last year. He said the company's orders for cylindrical batteries for power use had not been fully absorbed, and that some level of investment was needed. The company will also set up a production line for all-solid-state batteries at Nojo Business In Shiga Prefecture, Japan, to be used in wearable products.

MLCC production capacity in 2021 is also estimated to increase by 10-15% compared with the previous year, and it is planned to expand the production capacity of MLCC raw material barium titanate.

The Japanese makers are betting on a future in which more electronic parts will be used in cars and smartphones, predicting a rise in demand. However, in the face of changes in market demand, competition from other competitors, and reduced demand in the Chinese market, how to improve the added value of products has become an important task for manufacturers.

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