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Platinum demand set to Soar
By Johnson Matthey

Manufacturers of multi-layer ceramic-chip capacitors (MLCCs) are expecting sales and production levels to be given a boost over the second quarter of 2008 on the back of reinvigorated demand from the PC sector.

Businesses working in the passive component making industry suffered from a relatively slow start to 2008 as global demand was hit by severe snowstorms in China and fluctuations in global exchange rates.

Furthermore, as consumers put pressure on PC manufacturers to cut prices over the first three months of the year, MLCC makers were in turn forced to reduce their costs and thereby take a profit hit.

However, industry observers now widely expect to see a marked improvement over the second quarter of the year, with the current Computex Taipei 2008 IT tradeshow anticipated to produce a rise in sales and largely offset the dwindling consumer appetite for PCs caused by the general credit crunch.

At present, MLCC production is responsible for the greatest levels of palladium use within the electronics sector, with the metal used in all manner of components, from basic household products to complex military hardware.



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