Prices for small- and mid-size TV panels such as 32- and 49/50-inch models have stopped falling in January reflecting production shifts at makers in China and Korea, according to industry sources.
BOE Technology and China Star Optoelectronics (CSOT), the main suppliers of 32-inch TV panels currently, have been reducing the output of such models as the production cost of 32-inch panels has reached their cash cost levels generating zero profit, said the sources.
BOE is likely to slash its monthly production of 32-inch panels to 1.5 million units in the first quarter of 2019, down from 1.8 million units a quarter earlier; and CSTO is expected to cut the output at a rate of 100,000 a month during the quarter, indicated the sources.
Overall, the supply of 32-inch TV panels would be reduced by two million units in the first quarter, putting brakes on the downward spirals earlier than expected, said the sources.
Quotes for 32-inch TV panels stand at USD 42 per unit on average in January and are expected to remain at the same level in February before an expected rebound in March.
Unit prices of 39- to 43-inch panels will drop USD 2 in January and stay flat in February. However, quotes for 43-inch models are likely to rebound starting the second quarter as Samsung Display and Sharp are reducing the supplies of such models.
Quotes for 49- and 55-inch panels have become stable recently, reflecting Samsung Display’s decision to shift the production of its L8-1-1 8.5G LCD line to OLED with the transition process to start in June. The L8-1-1 line is currently focusing on the production of 49- and 55-inch panels indicated the sources.
Additionally, prices of 49-inch panels are likely to start going up in the second quarter as Samsung Display and LG Display have both shifted part of their 49-inch capacity to the production of 65-inch models, and BOE and CSOT are also cutting down their 49-inch panel output.
However, prices for large-size panels will remain under pressure due to high output but weak demand. Quotes for 55-inch models are to fall US$3 per unit to USD 143 in January and US$140 in February; and those for 65-inch panels will slip to USD 228 in January and USD 223 a month later with the prospect of stopping falling in the third quarter.―DigiTimes