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Sapphire makers may turn profitable in the summer of 2012

Sapphire makers may turn profitable in the summer of 2012

According to DigiTimes, Taiwan-based makers of sapphire wafers suffered operating losses in 2011 due to stagnant demand for LED epitaxial wafers and chips, but are likely to turn profitable in the second quarter of 2012 as global demand for LED chips used for backlight and lighting began to grow in March.

International prices for a 2-inch sapphire wafer dropped to US$8-9 in the fourth quarter of 2011 and further to US$7-8 in the first quarter of 2012, DigiTimes’ sources indicated. In view of growing demand for LED chips, makers of sapphire wafers plan to hike prices for 2-inch wafers to nearly US$9.

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Stuart Davidson

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