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IT panel prices keep rising

Prices for IT panels have been climbing due to worsening supply-demand imbalnce triggered by the tight supply of upstream materials and components, including LCD driver ICs and glass substrates, according to industry sources.

The shortages of IT panels, particularly those for monitor applications, have continued to widen as demand for monitor displays has remained robust in the wake of the booming stay-at-home economy, said the sources.

Quotes for mainstream 21.5-inch monitor modules and open cell panels are expected to rise by US$3 and US$4, respectively, in February, according to Sigmaintell Consulting.

Prices for 23.8-inch LCMs will move up US$2.50, while the correspondent sizes of open cell panels will edge up US$3-6; and quotes for 27-inch LCMs will move up US$2 to reach US$77.8, said Sigmaintell

Additionally, the supply of notebook panels also remains tight thanks to robust demand for notebooks supporting remote work, learning, and teleconference activities, said the sources.

In response to the ever-rising demand for notebooks, brand vendors, including HP, Dell and Lenovo, have been rolling out midrange to high-end hybrid business models to meet market demand, with such shipments likely to peak in first-half 2021, the sources added.

Panel demand from the Chromebook sector is also strong, said the sources, adding that global Chromebook shipments are expected to reach over 40 million units in 2021, up from about 30 million units shipped a year earlier.

Amid the tight supply, prices for HD TN notebook panels are expected to move up US$1.00-1.50 in February, and the mainstream IPS models will inch up US$0.60-1.50, according to Sigmaintell.