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Murata Manufacturing Spearheads Joint Venture to Bolster Barium Titanate Supply Chain Amid Rising Demand

On September 1, 2023, Murata Manufacturing, in concert with Ishihara Sangyo and Fuji Titanium Industry, officially established MF Material, a new corporate entity headquartered in Nobeoka City, Miyazaki Prefecture. The joint venture aims to oversee the production, quality assurance, and raw material procurement of barium titanate, a crucial component for multilayer ceramic capacitors. With an initial capitalisation of 100 million yen and a workforce of 230, MF Material emerges as a new player in an expanding market.

The three companies first unveiled their intention to form a joint venture in September 2022, later confirming the contract in March 2023. While the original launch date was slated for June 1, 2023, delays attributed to final preparations and consultations pushed the establishment to September. Fuji Titanium owns a dominant 70% stake in the enterprise, with Murata Manufacturing and Ishihara Sangyo holding 20% and 10% shares, respectively.

Barium titanate serves as a key material for multilayer ceramic capacitors, which are increasingly in demand due to the proliferation of electronics in the automotive sector. Fuji Titanium Sangyo stands as one of Murata Manufacturing’s key suppliers for this material. In a forward-looking move, MF Material plans to operationalise a new production facility by 2027 to boost its barium titanate output.

Murata Manufacturing itself is aggressively scaling its production capabilities. On August 1, 2023, the company declared the initiation of construction for a new production edifice in its Philippine subsidiary, Philippine Manufacturing Co. of Murata. With an estimated capital allocation of 11.2 billion yen, solely for the building, completion is projected for September 2025.

By leveraging long-standing relationships and specialized knowledge from each corporate partner, MF Material aims to catalyze innovations in barium titanate quality and production. This joint venture underscores the escalating importance of securing stable supply chains for critical electronic components and positions the consortium to capitalise on the burgeoning demand.

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