Mon, Aug 22, 2011 - Page 11 News List

Flat-panel display industry slumps in first half of year

Staff Writer, with CNA

The overall output value of Taiwan’s flat-panel display industry declined by 9.9 percent in the first half of the year because of worse-than-expected demand for large panels, an industry group recently said.

The figure dropped to NT$682 billion (US$23.5 billion) in the first six months of the year from NT$756.8 billion a year ago, according to the statistics compiled by the Photonics Industry and Technology Development Association (PIDA, 光電科技工業協進會).

After recovering from the global financial crisis, which began in 2008, flat-panel manufacturers beceme over-optimistic about market demand for large panels and increased production, leading to oversupply and decreasing prices in the US, Europe and China, PIDA said.

Chimei Innolux Corp (奇美電子) and AU Optronics Corp (友達光電), the nation’s two largest LCD panel makers, posted losses of NT$13.01 billion and NT$10.77 billion in the second quarter respectively, compared with losses of NT$13.8 billion and NT$13.9 billion in the first quarter. The two companies have announced plans to cut capital spending to cope with changing market conditions.

The output value of small and medium-sized panels, however, has posted a stable compound annual growth rate of 17.5 percent from the second half of 2008 to the first half of this year, with sales driven by the diversity of products that use the panels, such as smartphones, tablet computers, digital cameras and digital photo frames, the Taipei-based association said.

In the second half of 2008, the output value of large panels was 6.4 times larger than that of small and medium-sized panels, but that ratio was halved by the first half of this year.

Despite the coming school semester, Christmas holidays and a long vacation in China that could boost sales, the consumer market is expected to focus on small and medium-sized panels through the end of the year, while demand for LCD TVs will remain weak, PIDA projected.

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