Sat, Jan 22, 2011 - Page 12 News List

Price of LCD TV panels falls amid high inventories

SLOW DIGESTION:Panel prices remained under pressure, DisplaySearch said, and are estimated to have slid 1 to 2 percent in the first half of this month

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff Reporter

Despite positive holiday sales, the price of LCD panels used in slim-screen TVs continued to decline in the first half of this month amid high inventories at TV makers, market researcher DisplaySearch said yesterday.

The Austin, Texas-based research house was expecting TV panel prices to stabilize this month, after falling since April last year. However, slower-than-expected inventory digestion dashed those hopes.

LCD TV panel price fell by 1 to 2 percent in the first two weeks of this month compared with two weeks earlier, DisplaySearch said in a biweekly survey.

The price of mainstream 32-inch LCD TV panels slid 1 percent to US$149 per unit from US$151, the survey showed.

“Overall, LCD TV panel price pressure has remained, and panel prices have continued to drop in the first half of January ... inventory remains a big issue for [some TV] brands,” DisplaySearch said.

DisplaySearch estimated that LCD TV inventory fell to medium to high levels — about four weeks to six weeks — by the end of last month, from six weeks last November, it said in another report released on Thursday.

DisplaySearch analyst Deborah Yang estimated that Chinese TV brands were still carrying extra inventories at the end of last year, some of which are targeted for Lunar New Year sales.

“In Europe, sales have TV brands worried, so these brands’ inventory remains a concern in the first quarter of 2011,” Yang said.

As some TV brands reported weaker-than-expected sales last month, demand for TV panels would be adjusted downwardly early this quarter, DisplaySearch said.

“To secure orders, panel makers will continue to offer spot deals for strategic TV customers,” it said.

In the face of sagging demand, DisplaySearch expected global shipments of TV panels to dip 9 percent sequentially this month.

The prices for flat-panels used in monitors dropped as high as 2 percent in the first half of this month from the second half of last month because of oversupply, while prices for notebook computer panels were flat, DisplaySearch said.

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