Lead-times for passive electronics components are increasing at an alarming rate, leaving many in the industry concerned about the potential for allocation. What had been a growing concern over price increases in January 2010 is now becoming an issue of actually getting parts to the customer.
The unusual market conditions are contributing to the elevated time from vendor to customer. All of the top manufacturers of passive electronic components have been running at the limits of their operational capacity, and by March 2010 many parts are oversold, with visibility of extending lead times now through to June 2010.
As of March 10, 2010 the average lead time for passive components (commercial grade capacitors, resistors and inductors) is averaging 12.9 weeks, which is about 52% higher than the normal 8.5 week delivery time. But the reader should note that this is the average, and that specific types of passive components, especially electrolytic capacitors and nichrome film resistors that are already above 15 weeks, and that within these “averages” there are key parts that have extended out by as much as 30 weeks. Most notable on this list is the high capacitance MLCC- X5R type from 47 to 100 microfarad; large case size tantalum chips (D and E Case) with conductive polymer; and large case vertical chip aluminum capacitors (6.3mm x 8 mm up to 18 mm).
This, according to primary sources in the industry, is causing a bit of panic among the EMS companies. And while we have clear indications of capacity expansion, especially in high capacitance MLCC in Japan and Korea, and some capacity expansion noted to Paumanok publications among the prime manufacturers of tantalum capacitors, we see limited movement among the top Japanese vendors of aluminum capacitors to expand capacity at this time. Expect part shortages and price increases for specific parts within each passives category at least until the end of the September quarter of 2010.
Source: March 2010 / Passive Component Industry Magazine LLC / www.passivecomponentmagazine.com