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Report: Japan Earthquake Has Little Impact on Large LCD TV Screens

13 Apr, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Wholesale pricing for large-size LCD television screens is expected to decline less than 1% in April — despite lingering effects from the Japan earthquake and tsunami, including ongoing aftershocks, according to a new report.

El Segundo, Calif.-based IHS iSuppli said prices for large-size LCD screens would fall 0.8% in April — underscoring a glut of inventory in the market coupled with weak sales in the United States and Europe, along with lukewarm inventory replenishment in China.

Indeed, No. 1 consumer electronics retailer Best Buy Co. has reported soft TV sales for the past two quarters, including higher-priced connected units and 3DTVs.

“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 immediately after the quake, many manufacturing lines have recovered and production has returned.”

Wu said that while Japan’s dominance in several key materials for panels indicates potential vulnerability, suppliers are carrying approximately four to six weeks of inventory to limit supply disruptions.

“If assorted troubles — including the power outages now plaguing the country — continue and become prolonged, demand for panels may suffer, causing suppliers more difficulties,” Wu said.

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