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Earthquake in Japan Has Little Impact on LCD Prices

Prices for liquid crystal display (LCD) panels used in televisions will decline in April, but panels used in computer monitors and notebook computers will increase marginally, according to researcher IHS iSuppli.

Overall, the average price for LCD panels used in televisions, monitors, and notebooks will fall 0.5 percent in April compared to March, and will be the smallest decline in several months, according to HIS iSuppli. In the television segment, large-sized LCD prices will decline by 0.8 percent. However, notebook panel pricing will inch up by 0.2 percent, while monitor panel pricing will increase by 0.4 percent. Large-size panels measure 10.4 inches diagonally or longer.

"The slight decrease overall in large-LCD panel pricing shows that the segment has not yet suffered major impacts from the Japanese disaster," said Stacy Wu, senior analyst for displays research at IHS. Despite materials plants being shut down after the quake, many manufacturing lines have recovered and production has returned. Suppliers are carrying four to six weeks of materials inventory, so there have been limited supply disruptions for LCD manufacturers so far, according to Wu.

Suppliers have warned, however, of potential trouble down the road. If power outages continue, LCD panel demand may suffer, causing suppliers more difficulties, said Wu.