Industry sources report notebook batteries will become more expensive this quarter because of tight supply and increasing cobalt prices:
Although Japanese and Korea battery core suppliers will ramp up their capacity in the second half of the year, supply will remain short in the meantime, the sources said. Taiwan-based notebook battery module makers expect battery core supply to run 15% short of demand in the first quarter.
Cobalt prices rose sharply last year, hitting US$27-28 per pound in December 2007, up from US$14-15 earlier in the year. And since December 2007, cobalt prices have shot up to a record of over US$40 per pound.
With Japanese and Korean battery core suppliers planning to increase their quotes, Taiwan makers of notebook battery modules will have to follow suit because of the rising production costs, the sources indicated.
The sources said clients will accept the hikes as the shortages have made the battery module market a seller's market.