What Goes Around

Taiwanese printed circuit fabricators are feeling the pain of the currency crunch as their South Korean competitors have been taking advantage of the cheap won (and, in the cases of Samsung and LG, the home court advantage) to woo new orders.

As of today, one Taiwanese dollar is worth 38.1 won, down from a 12-month high of more than 40 won but still up 4.4% from the low. In the cutthroat world of PCB pricing, a 4% or more currency advantage is huge.

What’s interesting, however, is that Taiwan has noted South Korea’s government is intervening to keep the won cheap, which is precisely the argument the US government has made against China with its currency.

Oh, and most major Taiwanese board fabricators have plants in China. Few South Korean fabs do.