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By | Tony Smith 16th June 2005 10:39

Oil costs force 10% DVD±R price rise

Plastic prices harden

Recordable DVDs are likely to become more expensive in coming months as rising oil prices push up plastic costs.

At issue is the cost of optical-grade polycarbonate, the material used to protect the data-storage layers within DVD+R and DVD-R discs. The material's average price dropped to around $3.2 per kg back in April, DigiTimes notes, but now prices are rising again, reaching the previous record-high, $3.5 per kg, as crude prices have escalated. This year has seen already seen oil prices reach record highs.

That is forcing disc makers to up their own prices, with Taiwanese manufacturers now planning increases of around ten per cent during Q3, local sources claim, according to the report. Last year, aggressive competition forced them to absorbed a 20 per cent increase in material costs, again driven by rising oil prices.

Taiwan's optical disc makers include some of the industry's biggest players, including Ritek, CMC Magnetics and Prodisc. Together, they supplier more than half of the world's DVD±Rs, not to mention a comparable percentage of the CD-R and CD-RW discs that ship around the globe.

They are expected to ship three billion recordable DVD units this year alone, rising to five billion in 2006. That's a lot of polycarbonate. ®

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