The display polarizing film market is expected to see tight supplies in 2020 on account of persisting demand coupled with the aftermath of the COVID-19, which has disrupted production, according to industry sources on Mar. 12.
While the coronavirus affected the factory operation at Chinese film makers to drive down supply, demand remains high for panel makers that are preparing for big sports events in the latter half of this year.
In China, polarizing film factories ran much below normal as some facilities weren’t able to operate for up to two weeks. Logistics were also a problem due to the coronavirus.
Adding to the woes, polarizing film usually requires more input in the post-processing, which largely depends on outsourcing.
Manufacturers in Japan such as Nikko Denko and San Ritz, along with those in Taiwan such as CMMT finally began to run their operations since February 10 or 17. LG Chem factories ran at about a rate of 50% or less up until February 10, but the figure recently went up to 80%. Samsung SDI has also recovered a bit to 80% from 60~70%, while Japan’s Sumitomo went up to 70% from 50%. On February 25, most of these companies recovered their usual operation rates.
Contrary to this disruption, the film demand is still high due to upcoming events such as the Tokyo Olympics and Euro2020. Industry watchers say supply may fall significantly short if the coronavirus further spreads globally. Others, however, note that should this become a pandemic, these events may get canceled, leading to a downturn in demand.
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