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Notebook & TV Prices Set To Surge Due To LCD Shortages

Prices of liquid crystal display panels are set to rise in Australia a move that will push up the price of TV’s , notebooks, monitors and most devices that need an LED display.

Increases in work from home and online education resulting from COVID-19 stay at home orders have seen a surge in demand for consumer electronics goods especially TV’s and notebooks.

Prices for PC and TV panels have jumped 20% and 60% since spring, rises that a domestic analyst called “unprecedented.” Also contributing to the price rises in Australia is an increase in shipping costs with several brands now moving to air freight with the cost passed onto consumers.

“We cannot keep up with orders because panels are unavailable,” a procurement official at a Company producing PC’s for Hewlett Packard.

“We have asked some customers to allow delays in delivery.”

Acer, Dell, and Lenovo are also facing production and shipping problems.

Global PC shipments reached 81.3 million units in the July-September period, up 15% from a year earlier, according to research firm IDC. “People who rented PCs for work from home are buying them outright” because of the prolonged COVID-19 crisis claims one industry executive.

PCs for online education at universities and other schools are also drawing strong demand around the world.

TV sales are also surging in Australia despite problems with supply according to Harvey Norman store operators.

“I reckon we could sell double if we had supply” said one executive at a Harvey Norman store in Bundall Queensland.

Global TV shipments increased 15% in the July-September period from a year earlier to 62.87 million units, according to U.K.-based research firm Omdia.

The shortage of LCD panels caused by the booming sales of PCs and TVs have resulted in steep rises in the prices that PC and TV makers pay for them.

The price of 15.6-inch high-definition panels for notebook PCs was around $32 in November, up $3, or 10%, from the previous month and around 20% higher than before COVID-19 became widespread.

For TVs, 55-inch panels were trading at about $168, up 8% from October and about 60% above the pre COVID -19 price.

According to Nikkei Asia manufacturers are unable to keep up with demand.

BOE Technology Group and other Chinese makers have expanded the production of LCD panels in recent years, while some large manufacturers have shifted their investment priority to organic electroluminescent panels. For example, LG Display of South Korea has accelerated the mass production of organic EL panels.

LG Display has recently shelved a plan, announced in January, to discontinue LCD panel production for TVs in South Korea by the end of this year and decided to continue production in an effort take advantage of rising prices.

“Demand for TVs and PCs is expected to remain strong in the first half of 2021” because people continue to spend on consumer electronics amid voluntary or official restrictions on COVID-19 movements claim observers.

Some analysts are tipping that personal spending on TV’s and PC’s could weaken quickly when the Federal Government stops JobKeeper payments.

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