Sat, Oct 15, 2011 - Page 12 News List

LCD panel prices falling although shipments grow

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff Reporter

Shipments of LCD panels used in PCs and TVs grew 2.7 percent last month on the back of relatively strong demand for tablet devices, but that demand would not be enough to revive the industry’s worst-ever slump, given sagging private consumption in Europe and the US, market researcher WitsView said on Thursday.

Shipments of LCD panels increased for the second straight month to 60.8 million units last month, from 59.21 million units in August, helped by lukewarm inventory buildup at Chinese companies before the traditional Golden Week holiday shopping season this month, WitsView said in the report.

TABLETS

The rise of tablet devices boosted shipments of tablet panels by 35 percent last month when compared with August, benefiting panel makers such as Taiwan’s Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd (中華映管) and South Korea’s LG Display Co, WitsView analyst Chen Jian-an (陳建安) said in the report.

E Ink Holdings Inc (元太科技), the world’s top e-paper display supplier, also contributed historically high monthly revenues last month to the sales of new tablet devices by a key client, US online retailer Amazon.

“However, it is impossible for flat panel makers to rely solely on tablet devices to weather the toughest time in the LCD industry’s history,” Chen said.

FALLING

“Panel prices were still falling even in September, which is a peak season,” Chen said.

This indicated that demand “for LCD TVs, monitors and notebook computers is still key to satisfying the massive LCD panel capacity,” Chen said.

Last month, shipments of TV panels rose 3.1 percent, while shipments of flat panels used in monitors and notebook computers fell 1.3 percent and 5.8 percent respectively month-on-month, according to the Taipei-based researcher.

As demand remains weak, LCD panel makers should cut production to stem the decline in panel prices, Chen said.

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