LCD Panel Prices Continue Downward Trend in May
June 03, 2019
In May, notebook and monitor panel were down 0.4% and 1%, respectively. Monitor panel buyers aren’t buying ahead of the tariff hike and panel producers were eager to move volume, which likely kept pressure on prices. Per our recent article, notebook panel buyers were able to obtain reasonable quantities of the Intel, CPUs that had been hampering production, but notebook panel producers are still running at near 100% utilization levels keeping a lid on notebook panel pricing.
TV panel pricing was a bit worse than expected, as 40” to 43” panel prices did not rise as anticipated. All panel sizes below 55” were flat, and those at or above 55” were down. While inventory levels in the US are close to normal, they remain high in China and Korea, which keeps TV panel buyers from pushing up pricing. Panel producers were hoping that 2Q would see more stable or higher TV panel pricing, but demand is slack and could cause panel producers to lower utilization, but the fear of losing share will likely keep them from tightening supply. The build season, which starts in late July or early August is close enough that the idea of lowering utilization for June and maybe July is a non-starter. Whether the trade war escalation or a desire to keep the fabs fully loaded win out for June, panel producers seem optimistic about 3Q, although 4Q tends to be slightly better than 3Q in terms of overall TV panel sales
Table 1: May Panel Price Averages Changes
Source: SCMR LLC, IHS, WitsView