Fri, Apr 06, 2018 - Page 12 News List

LG panel plant fire not to affect prices: TrendForce

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

A fire at a LG Display Co manufacturing plant north of Seoul would only have a minor effect on market supply dynamics, as the production lines quickly resumed operations after a partial shutdown, Taipei-based market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) said yesterday.

LG Display’s facilities in Paju on Wednesday afternoon reported a fire in an aeration tank in its wastewater treatment system, the Korea Herald reported on its Web site.

The world’s biggest LCD panel supplier said it partially suspended operations at the plant for 14 hours due to safety concerns and restarted them yesterday morning, four-and-a-half hours after the fire was extinguished.

“As the production line remains unscathed, the incident will only have limited impact on the market’s supply-demand situation and panel prices,” TrendForce said in a note.

LG Display operates a 8.5G production line in Paju with a monthly capacity of 500,000 panels, making Paju one of its major manufacturing sites, TrendForce said.

LG Display is also installing OLED panel manufacturing capacity at the plant that could crank out 60,000 units a month, Trendforce said, adding that it produces mainstream flat panels used in TVs, notebook computers and monitors at the location.

Prices of TV panels fell by between 1.2 and 1.6 percent per unit in the first half of the month from the second half of last month, continuing a downtrend that has lasted nine months, TrendForce said.

In the first quarter, prices of TV panels dropped 3 to 13 percent from the previous quarter, with 65-inch TV panels seeing the largest decline, it said.

Amid falling prices and weak TV sales, TV vendors, including Samsung Electronics Co and China’s TCL Corp, are conservative in their panel purchases in light of excessive inventories, boding ill for LCD panel makers’ profitability, it added.

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