- Posted by doEEEt Media Group
- On June 7, 2019
Tantalum capacitor lead times continued to stretch in March on a month-to-month basis as vendors and materials suppliers come up with a “perfect storm” of reasons for the sudden shortage of molded chips.
Reasons for the sudden shortage of molded chips:
- An increase in defense and aerospace spending for tantalum capacitors set off an exuberant buying scenario in the private sector.
- A pre-planned price increase in manganese cathode tantalum capacitors fell at the same time as unit demand for aerospace increased, increasing consumption and turning buyer excitement into a downright panic (see slide showing panic). This also affected MLCC, thick film chip resistors and chip inductors.
- Key suppliers of Ta205 powder and wire noted that there were no price increases or shortages of materials. HOWEVER
- A fire at the Mibra Tantalum Mine in Brazil caused a stoppage of shipments of tantalite ore from the mine to their largest off take customer- Global Advanced Metals. Today, March 26th, AMG, the parent company of Mibra, has noted that GAM has discontinued their existing contracts for tantalum from the mine under the auspices that the mine has failed to replace the broken gravitational separator in an acceptable period of time.
- The weakening of the dollar to the yen, a trend which should continue with higher interest rates going forward in FY 2018 in the United States, has created an increase in the cost structure of components (and verticals) that have their base of operation in the West (Server Computers and Automobiles and ironically Tantalum Capacitors).
Source: Paumanok Publications Inc., Denis Zogbi