Rising Notebook PC and Television Sales Send Large-Sized LCD Panel Prices Up

Average pricing for large-sized Thin Film Transistor (TFT) LCD panels was increasing at a stronger-than-expected rate in May, says iSuppli.

By Video/Imaging DesignWire Staff

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Video/Imaging DesignWire
(6/12/2009 12:07:54 AM)

El Segundo, CA — Average pricing for large-sized Thin Film Transistor (TFT) LCD panels was increasing at a stronger-than-expected rate in May due to a rebound in notebook PC demand and surprisingly robust television sales, according to iSuppli Corp.

“While desktop PC monitor panel prices experienced a recovery in February, notebook panel prices continued to decrease throughout the first quarter due to weak demand,” said Sweta Dash, senior director for LCD research at iSuppli. “However, by May, virtually all large-sized panels-i.e., those with a diagonal dimension of 10-inches or more-experienced price increases compared to April, including notebook PCs and LCD TVs less than or equal to 37-inches in size. Even the 40/42-inch television panel prices started to stabilize after months of price reductions.”

Pricing in May is set to increase by $3 to $7 for monitor panels, by $2 to $6 for notebook panels, and by $5 to $8 for 26- and 32-inch television panels.

This trend is expected to continue in June and July with the prices of most panels tracked by iSuppli continuing to increase. Prices will remain on the rise in the third quarter during the holiday build season.

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In anticipation of these developments, suppliers have reduced their shipments by drastically cutting utilization rates of their fabs, making panel supply tight and helping to drive up prices as a result.

“China continues to be the key growth region, thanks to the government’s rural subsidy program and the upcoming Golden Week holiday,” Dash said. “Demand from the U.S. market also is intact.”

Among panel suppliers, inventory is reportedly low at about two weeks-the same as it is for panel buyers. Many branded vendors and system integrators are suffering panel shortages for some sizes, although they are seeing improvement from the April level.

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