LCD prices are expected to rise this month as companies stock up for the back-to-school season and rebuild their inventories amid concerns about possible supply disruptions related to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan on March 11, a report said.
A statement issued by US-based tech research house IHS iSuppli on Thursday said that this month is expected to be the first time in 14 months that all three main large LCD panel applications — TVs, monitors and notebook PCs — will go up in price.
Large LCDs are defined as those with a diagonal dimension of 10.1 inches or larger.
For this month, all three applications for large LCD panels are expected to post slight price increases, rising 0.1 percent for desktop PC monitors, 0.2 percent for TVs and 0.5 percent for notebooks, rounding up to an average price rise of 0.2 percent, it said.
This contrasts with previous months, when prices increased in only one or two panel applications, while prices in other applications fell steeply and dragged down the overall average, it said.
Buyers are still purchasing panels to mitigate the risk of any shortages of components used to make LCDs following continued supply problems in Japan, a major producer of LCD components.
Furthermore, companies are buying more LCDs as they prepare for the upcoming summer and back-to-school season, which is traditionally a busy period for panel makers, IHS said.
Weaker consumer demand for end devices and high channel inventory reported by brand companies, would prevent prices from rising too high it added.
“Consumer demand for the major products using LCD panels, like TVs and computers remains weak, especially in the US and Europe,” IHS senior director Sweta Dash said.
Looking forward, panel demand from international brands in particular will be crucial to support panel pricing in the third quarter.
“In one sign of potential trouble, panel inventory replenishment efforts in China could slow down next month, prompting panel suppliers to cut utilization rates at their fabs,” the report added.