Published January 2, 2024

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LCD TV Panel Prices Falling in Q1

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New Year celebrations bring hope for the coming year, and sometimes resolutions to do something better. Panel makers can hope that the current trend of falling prices does not last too long, and they can resolve to avoid building too much inventory. 2024 brings a trend to falling LCD TV panel prices which started in Q4’23 and will extend at least through Q1’24. As the big holiday selling season comes to an end in early February, the supply/demand balance sits squarely in oversupply, with Q1 prices for all screen sizes continuing to fall from their recent peak in September 2023.

The first chart here highlights our latest TV panel price update with a forecast to March 2024, starting with the tail end of the post-pandemic price plunge which ran from mid-2021 to summer 2022. Prices hit their all-time lows in September 2022 and increased modestly in Q4’22 and Q1’23 before larger price increases covered Q2’23 and Q3’23. Actual prices for December came in close to our expectations, with a few sizes higher and a few sizes lower than our forecast, but all sizes showing M/M price declines. The price declines will extend at least through the first quarter of 2024.

LCD TV Panel Prices

After double-digit percentage increases on average for LCD TV panel prices in both Q2’23 and Q3’23, we saw panel prices decline in the fourth quarter by 1.7% on average, with smaller panels showing larger declines while larger panels were close to zero change Q/Q. We now expect that prices will decrease by 8.3% on average, with smaller panels again showing larger declines up to double digit % and larger panels showing declines in the mid-single-digits %.

In the third quarter price increases were relatively evenly distributed, with all sizes seeing increases between 10% and 18%. The fourth quarter price changes favored larger panels; although the price for 75” panels has fallen from $248 in September to $242 in December, the average price for 75” panels in the fourth quarter was 0.1% higher than the Q3 average. On the other hand, prices for 32” panels declined by 6% Q/Q in Q4’23.

As we look at pricing on an area basis, we are seeing a clear penalty for the smallest screen sizes. From August 2022 through March 2023, the price for 65” TV panels was the lowest in area terms, but by the summer of 2023 the 65” panels were in the mainstream, and the two smallest sizes, 32” and 43”, were priced lower. In January 2024, 32” and 43” panels have the lowest area price at $113 and $114 per square meter, respectively, but area prices go higher for 65” ($137), 55” ($143), 75” and 49/50” (both $153). The current price strata work slightly to the advantage of panel makers with Gen 8.x capacity who can efficiently make 49/50” and 55” panels, and to the disadvantage of panel makers with Gen 10.5 capacity who can efficiently make 65", 75” and 43” panels.

Monthly Area Prices per Square Meter for LCD TV Panels

Prices for the largest screen sizes, 85”, remain at a premium to the smaller sizes, and that premium has been increasing in recent months even as prices fall in all screen sizes. In June 2022, 85” panels sold for $188 per square meter, an 83% premium over 32”. The premium hit a low point in March 2023 as 85” panels sold for $141 per square meter, a 28% premium over 32”. Now in January 2024, 85” panels are selling for $176 per square meter, a 56% premium over 32”, and by March 2024 we forecast that 85” panels will sell for $169 per square meter, a 59% premium over 32”.

Our final chart in this sequence shows our LCD TV panel price index, taking a longer view from 2015 through February 2023. The price increases in Q3 2023 brought our index up to a peak of 43.4 in September 2023, an increase of 42% compared to the low of 30.5 in September 2022. The index declined to 40.7 in December, which was down 6% from the recent peak but still up 29% Y/Y and up 34% compared to the all-time low. We expect that by March 2024 prices will drop another 8%, which will put them 24% above the all-time low.

LCD TV Panel Price Index

Both of the big Taiwan panel makers reported improvements in profitability in Q3’23 as they enjoyed the improved pricing environment, but both companies still reported net losses. Both companies indicated that shipments would decline in the fourth quarter, which is consistent with the pattern of declining prices. We expect both of those panel makers to report more substantial losses for Q4’23.

The industry’s capacity still far outstrips the likely demand for the foreseeable future, and high industry utilization in the middle two quarters of 2023 created a supply glut, which has resulted in prices declining into 2024.

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Written by

Bob O'Brien