Sat, Dec 04, 2004 - Page 10 News List

Oversupply of LCD panels could fade early next year

By Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Concern about the oversupply in liquid-crystal display (LCD) panels will ease in the slack first quarter of next year as Japanese Canon Inc's delays in equipment delivery will curb new panel supplies, market researcher Display-Search said yesterday.

That may also bring an early revival for the LCD industry, which has for several quarters been plagued by overcapacity woes, the Austin, Texas-based research house said.

It also predicted that Taiwan's Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp (奇美電子) is likely to overtake LG Philips as the world's No. 2 LCD-TV panel supplier in the current quarter.

"We believe there's a good chance for the LCD industry to see a parity between panel supplies and demand in the second quarter following a better than expected first quarter," said Frank Hsieh (謝勤益), president of DisplaySearch's Taiwan branch.

Panel prices are also expected to stabilize in the quarter to June. Supplies should start becoming constrained in the third quarter of next year, Hsieh said.

In the first three months of next year, the surplus in LCD panel supplies may narrow to a range between 5 percent and 7 percent, from an estimate of 10 percent in the current quarter, Hsieh said.

Before the highly cyclical industry approaches the bottom of the downturn in the next quarter, however, suppliers of LCD panels will still have to survive a harsh quarter. Prices for large LCD screens are expected to drop by another 16 percent in the fourth quarter after a faster-than-expected 16 percent drop in the previous three months, DisplaySearch said.

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