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  • TFT-LCD Panel Prices Increase on Short Supplies
  • December 14, 1998 (TAIPEI) -- Prices of thin-film transistor liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) panels rose by as much as US$50 per unit in November, because supply is falling short of demand.
    The situation is expected to continue through the first half of 1999, and the prices of TFT-LCD panels may see another increase of US$20-US$30 per unit in the first quarter of 1999, industry experts said.

    According to local monitor makers, prices of TFT-LCD panels began rising in October, following the appreciation of the yen in September, and the short supply has driven prices even higher since then.

    The prices of 12.1-in. panels for notebook PCs quoted by Japanese companies rose from US$210 to US$240 per unit, while those of 15-in. panels increased from US$500 to US$550 per unit. South Korean makers followed suit by pushing up prices in a similar way.

    The crunch in the supply of TFT-LCD panels was largely a result of a scaling back of production by Japanese and South Korean companies in the first half of the year.

    However, because six Taiwan-based firms will begin producing TFT-LCD panels in the third quarter of next year and a new plant of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. of Korea will start operations, the shortfall in supply is not expected to continue beyond the middle of 1999.

    Global output of LCD monitors meets only about 50 percent of demand. Taiwan-based LCD monitor makers, including Acer Peripherals Inc. and Philips Taiwan Ltd., have raised their prices already this year, and they plan to implement another price increase next year.

    (Commercial Times, Taiwan)

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    Updated: Sun Dec 13 02:00:38 1998 PDT