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LG Display set to diversify suppliers following South Korea and Japan’s trade dispute

The South Korean panel manufacturer, LG Display, has begun preparations to deal with the result of the trade dispute between South Korea and Japan on chemicals used in chip and display manufacturing, according to Supply Chain Dive.

Following LG Display’s second-quarter earnings call last week, the company is set to look into other suppliers for the impacted chemicals.

“There are so far no concerns that significantly affect the company, but we are making preparations by ensuring uninterrupted sourcing for the short term and diversifying sourcing channels over the medium term,” commented LG Display's CFO Dong-Hee Suh.

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Having recently placed export restrictions on three chemicals — hydrogen fluoride gas, fluorinated polyimide and photoresists — that are used in technology manufacturing, Japan has pointed to national security concerns and have said that the chemicals potentially have military uses for the future.

According to data by The Observatory of Economic Complexity, Japan exported approximately $54.8mn worth of hydrogen fluoride in 2017, with 81% of this going to South Korea. Japan also produces around 90% of the world’s fluorinated polyimides that make it harder to find alternative suppliers.

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