Claims that Apple has reduced its orders and shipment forecasts for MacBooks in the fourth quarter of 2011 don't appear to have been borne out.

Brian White, an analyst with Ticonderoga Securities, said earlier this month that Apple could reduce orders of the MacBook Air, as well as the iPad and iPhone.

But Digitimes reports that Apple's upstream suppliers expect MacBook shipments to remain stable and that "that Apple currently still has not yet marked down its shipment forecast for the fourth quarter".

There had been concerns that a shutdown at Chinese manufacturer Catcher could affect supplies of the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.

Catcher was ordered to partially close down a plant in eastern China after local officials fielded complaints of a "strange odour" emanating from the facility. It is expected to resume operations soon after establishing equipment to eliminate the odours, according to Digitimes.

It is also believed that floods in Thailand have put severe constraints on supplies of hard drives for Apple and other companies.

"Apple's ODM partner Quanta Computer also achieved notebook shipments of 5.3 million units in October, although the company refused to reveal its clients' shipment status, the sources revealed that the increase in shipments was mainly benefited by Apple's orders, especially the MacBook Pro," the report says.

Sales of Macs increased in the UK and Western Europe in the third quarter of 2011 compared to 12 months ago, according to a report issued yesterday by Gartner.