Higher battery prices caused by fire at LG plant

img17_02 A fire at LG Chem in South Korea on March 3rd has contributed to a worldwide notebook battery shortage, according to Reuters. Asustek is expected to be hardest hit, as the shortage “could affect up to 40 percent of second-quarter shipments” from Taiwan’s second-largest PC maker.

A Dell spokesperson acknowledged the shortage today and has blamed it for recent replacement battery price increases, but said little more than “We sell battery packs. The prices of those battery packs for people ordering extra batteries have gone up.” In the short term, PC manufacturers may be able to stabilize high battery prices against plummeting flash memory prices.

The plant isn’t scheduled to resume battery production for another 2-3 months. In the meantime, manufacturers have been able to purchase some batteries from plants owned by Sony and Panasonic while waiting for LG Chem to resume production.