LCD TV panel prices break downward price spiral

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Mon, May 07, 2012 - Page 12

After having declined for the past two years, the price for LCD TV panels rose by US$1 per unit, or 0.79 percent, in the first half of this month, with further price increases expected next month, as the lower yield rate limited supply growth ahead of China’s Labor Day shopping holiday this month, market researcher NPD DisplaySearch said.

TVs with 29-inch, 39-inch and 50-inch panels and low-cost LED backlighting were a hit in the price-sensitive North American market, DisplaySearch said on Saturday.

Sales of flat-panel TVs in China, the world’s biggest LCD TV market, were forecast to grow by a 10 percent annual rate during the three-day Labor Day holidays this year, the US research house forecast.

The mainstream 32-inch TV panel rose US$1, or 0.79 percent, to US$128 in the first two weeks of this month, compared with US$127 in the second half of last month, according to DisplaySearch’s tally.

Over the past month, prices of LCD TV panels have increased US$3 to US$5 on average in China as Chinese TV brands hoped to build more panel inventory, DisplaySearch analyst Chang Ping (張兵) said in a report released on Friday.

The Euro 2012 soccer tournament next month and the London Olympic Games in August will help spur TV demand in China, Chang said.

Shipments to China of flat panels to be used in TVs will drop to 4.48 million units this month from last month’s 4.86 million units and to 4.4 million units next month amid slow seasonal demand, before rebounding to 4.75 million units in July, Chang forecast.

Taiwan’s two biggest LCD panel makers, Chimei Innolux Corp (奇美電子) and AU Optronics Corp (友達光電), seized a combined share of 54.6 percent of China’s LCD TV market in the first quarter, Taipei-based TrendForce Corp’s (集邦科技) statistics showed.

LCD TV shipments to China reached 45 million units last year, according to market researcher Displaybank.