Shortage of LCD materials likely in 2005

Components and materials for liquid crystal displays will be in short supply in the second half of this year, iSuppli says.

Supplies of the materials and components used to make large liquid crystal displays won't meet demand in the second half of 2005, market researcher iSuppli predicted Friday.

Glass substrates used to manufacture large-size thin film transistor LCD panels are likely to be 8 percent to 10 percent short of demand in terms of area, the market research firm said. The shortage of color filters used in fifth- and sixth-generation LCD plants is projected to be between 7 percent to 12 percent toward the end of 2005.

The shortage is a result of a downturn seen in the TFT-LCD industry in the third quarter of 2004, when shipments of panels for desktop monitors dipped and demand for displays for notebooks rose only slightly, iSuppli said. This led to an oversupply of materials used in making large-size panels late last year, because suppliers need at least one quarter to adjust to changes in LCD shipments.

Currently, material makers are limiting production as a reaction to 2004 trends, and this could lead to a shortage later in 2005, the research firm said. The shortage of glass substrates and color filters will be most severe, though there will also be a shortfall of other parts. Polarizers, TAC film and lamps will all face varying degrees of tight supplies, it said.