News & Events

Polarizer supplies to stay tight through 1H21

Global supplies of polarizers are expected to remain tight through the first half of 2021 along with recent upsurge in demand for LCD panels supporting remote work and study, according to industry sources.

Although China-based polarizer plants are expanding their production capacity, the sources indicated that total polarizer output from China may not increase meaningfully until the third quarter of 2021.

Kunshan Chimei Materials Technology is currently producing one million square meters of 2.5-meter polarizers a month, with plans to ramp up its output to 1.5 million square meters by year-end 2020, the sources indicated.

A new 2.6-meter polarizer production line of Shenzhen Sapo Photoelectric which is now under construction is not expected to come online until the third quarter of 2021, said the sources, noting that the plant can produce polarizers for up to 110-inch TV products licensing technology from Japan-based Nitto.

Meanwhile, LG Chem is withdrawing from the polarizer market and has reached a deal to sell 70% of its polarizer business and assets to China-based Shanshan Group for US$770 million.

While polarizer supplies will remain tight through first-half 2021, related suppliers may not be able to raise their quotes until the first or second quarter of the coming year as most polarizers are produced on contract basis.

Taiwan-based BenQ Materials' polarizer production lines are currently running at full capacity, said the sources.

The company saw its revenue increase 2.17% sequentially and 9.87% on year to a five-month high of NT$1.278 billion (US$43.55 million) in August. It also posted net profit of NT$109 million in first-half 2020.

Fellow company Cheng Mei Material Technology (CMMT) expects its capacity utilization rate to reach 100% in November-December, with the production momentum likely to continue into first-quarter or even second-quarter 2021. Its factory utilization rate stood at 70% in second-quarter 2020.

However, the company posted net loss of NT$213 million in the first half of 2020.