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Korea, Taiwan panel makers to boost output in '09

Posted: 03 Apr 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:LCD? panel market? Korea Taiwan panel maker?

Large TFT LCD producers in Korea plan to increase shipments 23 percent this year while producers in Taiwan plan to increase shipments only 12 percent, according to a DisplaySearch report.

Taiwan producers, however, plan a surge of output in 2H 09, according to the inaugural issue of the Quarterly Large-Area Production Strategy Report from DisplaySearch. The report reveals producer plans by fab and panel type to help clients can anticipate how the price or availability of certain products might change.

Table 1: Substrate area allocation and panel production plans by Country (Click on image to enlarge.)

Large panel producers in Korea grew their output 23 percent in 2008 and plan to repeat the growth this year by bringing new TFT fabrication plants on-line and supporting affiliated brands such as LG and Samsung. From the first half to the second half of 2009, Korea producers plan to allocate 25 percent more glass substrate area and fabricate 27 percent more panels. This plan calls for a 2 percent reduction in the average glass area per panel in 2H 09, as Korea producers concentrate on increasing their output for notebook PC applications more than their output for monitor or TV applications, and average size of notebook panels decreases.

Taiwanese producers also plan to increase their allocation for notebook displays more than for other applications. They started this year at much lower levels of capacity utilization, however. That is why they hope to increase glass input area 39 percent in 2H 09 and fabricate 42 percent more panels than in 1H 09.

Increase average panel size
As indicated in Table 1 and in Table 2, the average large panel is consuming less glass substrate area as producers adjust their product mix in response to consumer preference. Producers are offering smaller, panels for notebooks, as well as entry-level TV applications. The average glass substrate area allocated per panel increased 2 percent in 2008, but producer plans indicate it will decrease 2 percent in 2009. Producers in Korea and Japan (excluding Singapore operations) will increase their average panel size as they bring next-generation fabs on-line to support their affiliated TV brands. Overall, however, the average glass area per TV panel will decrease 2 percent this year.

Table 2: Substrate area allocation and panel production plans for major market segments (Click on image to enlarge.)

As mentioned, Japan producers plan to bring new capacity on-line in 2H 09. In addition, panel makers in Japan began restructuring efforts in 1H 09 that cause them to focus on large panels for TV applications. Consequently, they plan to increase glass input 56 percent in Japanese fabs from 1H to 2H 09 and fabricate 54 percent more panels. Their average glass area per panel will therefore increase as their affiliated brands promote larger TV sets.

"Producers plan to shift fabrication of notebook panels to fifth-generation or eighth-generation substrate lines and allocate more sixth-generation capacity for monitor panels. Such plans will cause the average monitor panel size to increase and this may improve pricing for leading producers," noted David Barnes, DisplaySearch�s VP of strategic analysis. "On the other hand, as Table 2, producers expect PC monitor demand will grow less than notebook PC or TV demand in 2009. Shipments of panels for mini-note or conventional notebook products may grow the most in 2009 and in the second half as well."

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