Japan's Quake May Hurt Battery, Semiconductor-Wafer, LCD-Panel Markets

The global supply of lithium-ion batteries, chip wafers and liquid-crystal display panels may be curtailed after last week's earthquake in Japan, according to research reports.

Plant closures by Japanese manufacturers including Sony Corp. (6758) and Hitachi Chemical Co. will likely affect the rechargeable-battery market, Daiwa Securities Group Inc. said. Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Co.'s stoppage of resin shipments may hurt output of integrated circuit chips, Barclays Plc said. Prices of LCD panels and memory chips may rise as the earthquake leads to potential shortages, IHS ISuppli said yesterday.

The disaster in Japan, which produces about 40 percent of the world's electronics and audiovisual components and 60 percent of the silicon used to make semiconductors, has shut down hundreds of plants in the nation. Damaged factories could take three months to recover, and others may be hobbled by transportation difficulties and shortages of power and water, the researchers said.

Read the complete Bloomberg story, "Japan's Quake May Hurt Battery, Semiconductor-Wafer, LCD-Panel Markets."

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