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WitsView sees panel prices still sinking closer to the bottom in September

2 October 2008 Display

Taipei, September 10, 2008---According to WitsView’s panel price survey for September, the price pressure on the 3 main applications can still be felt. This stems from the weaker-than-usual end market demand during the traditional strong seasonality, as the global economy remains weighed by inflation and credit squeeze problems--resulting in weak consumer confidence and buying power. Although Taiwan’s panel makers have aggressively reduced their production utilization rates since July in clearing away the excess inventory, given the sluggish end market demand, downstream clients have also been very cautious in adjusting their own inventory. Thus, it is taking longer for the market demand and supply to reach a balance.

After the severe IT panel price drops in July and August, monitor panels have already slipped past the fully-loaded cost and is now near the cash cost level. For NBs, the same can be seen for the mainstream 15.4W and 14.1W. In the TV segment, the current panel price quotes are near the break even level. As downstream clients continue to adjust their inventory and the end market demand being weaker than originally projected, further panel price declines are expected in September. With panel makers facing the possibility of posting a loss, the IT panel price fall this month should be less severe than in July and August, falling by roughly 5~8%. In the LCD TV market, sales have been seriously impacted by the global macroeconomic woes, most notably in the 46”W/47”W and above segment. By contrast, sales of smaller sized TVs (below 32”W) have been stronger-than-expected, signaling the fact that consumers have grown much more price-conscious. Thus, the upcoming China National Day holidays and year-end Christmas sales promotion will be panel makers’ key focus in increasing the amount of TV orders they receive. For September, TV panels are expected to fall by 3~5%.

Despite the arrival of the traditional strong third quarter, the end market demand has been much worse than originally expected. Demand remains weighed by the global economic troubles. Panel makers have responded by scaling back their production, but the weak demand is causing it to take longer in clearing away the excess inventory. The huge panel price adjustments of the 3 main applications will help stimulate sales during September’s back to school season, China’s National Day holidays and year-end Christmas sales, due to more attractive price tags. Yet, as clients continue to adjust their inventory, there are no signs of a strong panel demand. Although panel prices have already fallen past the fully loaded cost, September also marks the end of the third quarter. The shipment and price pressure on panel makers are set to only grow bigger.

Panel Price List in 1H of Sep/2008 ( Prices are all in USD )

ApplicationScreen sizeFormatResolutionPrice 
LowHighAvg.Change*Last Avg.Change*


About WitsView

Founded in the year 2004, WitsView, a subsidiary brand of DRAMeXchange, is composed of a team of TFT-LCD industry experts. The research field covers the development and market trend of upstream components, mid stream panels and downstream system integrators and retailers.

For more about WitsView, please visit

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