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28 PCB007 MAGAZINE I JULY 2021 Feature Interview by Nolan Johnson I-CONNECT007 Nolan Johnson spoke with Michael Coll and Chris Stevens of Nippon Denkai, home of the last-standing ED foil manufacturer in North America, about the demands and projections they're seeing in the copper market currently. Nolan Johnson: ere's plenty of news about the market demand for copper, that the de- mand far outstrips the current manufactur- ing, and that demand will only grow. You must have a good perspective on that. Can you give us and our readers an overview? Michael Coll: Sure. We look at the copper mar- ket from the perspectives of both our supply and our customers' demand. Electrodeposit- ed foil starts with dissolving recycled copper wire in acid prior to electroplating the copper into sheet form. e recycled copper we use comes from a large network of scrap vendors that we've worked with for well over 30 years. When we look at the supply side of the equa- tion, we have not experienced any issues re- ceiving the scrap copper that we need to meet customer demand. rough the first quarter of the year, copper prices increased at an unparalleled rate, how- ever, prices have declined rapidly due to the release of strategic reserves in China. While our supply is stable, our customers are com- municating that the copper foil supply has tightened, specifically in Asia. is is due to the combination of increased orders in the electronics industry as we emerge out of CO- VID, combined with increase demand for lith- ium-ion batteries (LIB) for electric vehicles. Chris Stevens: Our customers are clearly com- municating that the emphasis on shiing cop- per foil production from PCB to lithium-ion batteries for EVs is putting a strain on the foil market. e two competing industries both have significant demand, and foil suppliers are looking at how to allocate their capacity between the PCB and LIB businesses. A big part of this is the excitement around EVs and the opportunities that the emerging market The Demand for Copper

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