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.


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About Mike

Mike Buetow is president of the Printed Circuit Engineering Association (pcea.net). He previously was editor-in-chief of Circuits Assembly magazine, the leading publication for electronics manufacturing, and PCD&F, the leading publication for printed circuit design and fabrication. He spent 21 years as vice president and editorial director of UP Media Group, for which he oversaw all editorial and production aspects. He has more than 30 years' experience in the electronics industry, including six years at IPC, an electronics trade association, at which he was a technical projects manager and communications director. He has also held editorial positions at SMT Magazine, community newspapers and in book publishing. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois. Follow Mike on Twitter: @mikebuetow