Published September 5, 2023



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LCD TV Panel Prices Peaking in September

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The rally in LCD TV panel prices, which started in February has continued in the third quarter and has been accompanied by a widespread increase in supply as LCD makers increase utilization. Prices have increased enough to bring many panel makers into positive margins and the TV supply chain is building inventory toward the big selling season in the fourth quarter. We are now seeing a shift in the supply/demand balance from shortage to oversupply, with September prices flat compared with August as a two-month peak, and we continue to believe that prices will decline in the fourth quarter.

The first chart here highlights our latest TV panel price update with a forecast to December 2023, showing 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 prices increases started in April 2023. Actual prices for August came in slightly higher than our expectation, but we have held our September prices unchanged from the last update, August and September prices are now the same.

LCD TV Panel Prices

As the industry started its climb out of the deep hole, average prices increased only 2.9% Q/Q in Q1’23 as the industry continued to deplete excess inventory. Once that excess was gone, prices increased an average of 15.3% in the second quarter and are expected to increase another 14.6% in the third quarter.

In the second quarter, prices increased for all sizes of TV panels, but 65” panels saw the biggest increases. Prices for those big panels increased 25% in Q2, while smaller size panels like 32” saw only single-digit % increases. In the third quarter price increases are more evenly distributed, with all sizes in the range of 32” to 65” seeing increases between 11% and 17%, while the largest size in our survey (75”) is increasing at single-digit % rates.

As we look at pricing on an area basis, we are seeing some stratification in the range of prices. From August 2022 through March 2023, the price for 65” TV panels was the lowest in area terms, but the increases in recent months have brought the 65” panels into the mainstream. Now 43” panels have the lowest area price at $129 per square meter, while 32” panels are slightly higher at $135 per square meter. Area prices go higher for 65” ($144), 55” ($151), 75” ($159) and 49/50” ($165). The current price strata works 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, although that premium has been reduced compared to a year ago. In August 2022, 85” panels sold for $168 per square meter, a 75% premium over 32”. A year later in August 2023 the 85” panels sold for $183 per square meter, a 36% premium.

Our final chart in this sequence shows our LCD TV panel price index, taking a longer view from 2015 through December 2023. The price increases in July and August 2023 have brought our index up to 48.9, an increase of 60% compared to the low of 30.5 in September 2022. The price increases in May brought the price index into positive territory on a Y/Y basis for the first time since September 2021, and in August 2023 panel prices are 54% higher than a year ago.

LCD TV Panel Price Index

The larger-than-expected price increases in Q2’23 have been welcomed by panel makers, even though they were not enough to bring the industry to profitability, based on the reported results of LGD, AUO and Innolux. The price increases of the third quarter have likely brought the Taiwan panel makers into the black.

However, the industry’s capacity still far outstrips the likely demand for the foreseeable future, and industry utilization in Q3 and as projected in Q4 is creating a supply glut, which we believe will result in prices declining in the fourth quarter.

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Written by

Bob O'Brien