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Panel prices keep falling on weak demand, says WitsView

13 January 2009 Display

Taipei, December 9, 2008---Based on WitsView’s market survey, mainstream IT panel prices fell by 6~9% ($5-6) in 1HDec, while TVs dropped by 5-10% (about $10-30). Due to the lack of a strong local brand support, the utilization rates of the Taiwan and China-based panel makers have declined to historical lows, promoting them to drastically reduce their 2009 capex. Although the sharp Korean Won depreciation and strong local brand support has allowed the Korean players to rapidly expand their market share, the financial pressures are growing too, as profits are sharply dragged down by the falling panel ASP. In the last month of 2008, panel makers must also deal with the year-end inventory accounting. To obtain more cash, they have been forced to sell their products at near or below the material cost level. At the moment, there is still no evident sign that prices have hit bottom.

WitsView analysts said the average utilization rates of panel makers have fallen to roughly 70% in 4Q08. Given the 4-day New Year and 9-day Chinese Lunar New Year holidays, there will be fewer working days in Taiwan during Jan09. Coupled by the persisting market uncertainty, the average utilization rates in 1Q09 are projected to fall to roughly 65%. The rate of decline in the panel output is already outpacing the drop in demand. In addition, to minimize losses, more moderate panel price quotes are expected to be offered by panel makers. They should gradually become more inclined by producing on a by-order basis.

Whether the TFT-LCD industry hits bottom in the 1Q09 largely depends on the panel makers’ “attitude”. Naturally, the general market environment is also an important factor. But if market share expansion is no longer the primary goal of panel makers, there is a chance to see prices stop falling. By contrast, if market share is still the priority, despite prices having already declined to the material cost level, the cutthroat competition is set to only worsen further.

Panel Price List in 1H of Dec/2008 ( Prices are all in USD )
Application Screen size Format Resolution Price  
Low High Avg. Change* Last Avg. Change*
TV 42'' FHD 1920x1080 350 380 360 -30 390 -8%
37'' WXGA 1366x768 260 290 270 -30 300 -10%
32'' WXGA 1366x768 180 200 190 -10 200 -5%
Monitor 22"W WSXGA+ 1680x1050 85 92 90 -6 96 -6%
19" SXGA 1280x1024 70 78 77 -6 83 -7%
19''W WXGA+ 1440x900 60 68 65 -6 71 -8%
17'' SXGA 1280x1024 55 62 60 -6 66 -9%
Notebook 17''W WXGA+ 1440x900 77 87 83 -5 88 -6%
15.4''W WXGA 1280x800 53 60 58 -5 63 -8%
14.1''W WXGA 1280x800 50 57 55 -5 60 -8%


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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