Thatcham, UK - global copper prices are on the increase due to increasing demand globally, primarily driven by the use of copper in lithium ion batteries used in electric vehicles, tablets and mobile phones.
Copper Prices - 12 Weeks to 25th Nov ($/m tonne)
As detailed in the above chart, copper prices were relatively stable to the middle of October 2016, since when the price has increased from $4,603 to $5,765 m/tonne a 25% price increase in 5 weeks.
The demand is leading to a potential limitation of copper foil supply with some manufacturers reporting problems with obtaining copper foil to fulfil orders. As this continues there is a risk this will lead to further price increases before copper supply increases to meet the new demand.
At the time or writing, none of EMS' core PCB suppliers are reporting any problems and all have put in place contingency plans to ensure current and future supply of copper foil. We believe there is no need to panic about supply at the current time but it is something we need to be aware of.