The Korea Herald


China chasing Korea in larger LCD panel market

LCD panel dominance to continue until 2020, slowing OLED growth: report

By Korea Herald

Published : May 21, 2017 - 14:05

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Chinese display manufacturers are chasing their South Korean rivals closely by planning to release a larger volume of liquid-crystal panels over 32 inches this year, said a market researcher Sunday.

According to a report on the 2017 shipment strategies of Chinese TV panel makers by IHS Markit, Chinese LCD panel suppliers are forecast to ship out a total of 320,000 large-size panels larger than 32 inches by the end of this year, a 33 percent surge from last year.

While ramping up production capacity of larger panels, Chinese panel makers are planning to downsize shipments of 32-inch LCD panels by 13 percent, indicating their shift to larger ones. 
Two employees show an LCD Nano Cell panel manufactured by LG Display at a factory in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, in March. (Yonhap) Two employees show an LCD Nano Cell panel manufactured by LG Display at a factory in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, in March. (Yonhap)

“The LCD TV market is quickly changing and transitioning to larger sizes,” said Robin Wu, principal analyst of large displays at IHS Markit.

In the report, Wu mentioned the plans of major Chinese panel firms such as BOE, CSOT, CEC-Panda and HKC to focus on expanding production of 43, 55 and 58-inch panels, adding that demand for 32-inch panels will gradually decrease.

“By the end of 2018, China will be the largest region for TFT LCD capacity, and larger-sized products may make their factories more efficient and profitable than they have been when producing 32-inch panels,” he said.

The strategy shift of the Chinese players suggests that they might outstrip Korean display makers in the global large-size display market, the analyst said.

“The strategies of Chinese panel makers will significantly influence global supply and demand,” Wu said. “In 2015 and 2016, the Chinese companies shipped 33.2 percent of worldwide LCD TV panel, trailing only Korean panel makers at 36.4 percent.”

In 2016, the world’s largest display provider was Korea’s LG Display, followed by Samsung Display and China’s BOE, data from the researcher showed.

The competition structure has been advantageous for the Korean players, since their Chinese rivals had been focusing on small LCD panels until last year. But now the Korean firms are facing fiercer competition in prices.

Although demand for organic-light emitting diode panels in the TV market is gradually rising, dominance of LCD panels is projected to continue for the foreseeable future.

LCD panel production would rise from 261.13 million units in 2017 to 282.57 million in 2020, the market tracker said.

During the same period, OLED panels are expected to jump almost threefold to 5.25 million units from 1.57 million.

“While OLEDs are expected to post sharp growth, they will not be able to usurp LCD as the panels of choice for upper-end TVs,” another report by IHS Markit said.

By 2020, LCD panels will claim a dominant 98.2 percent of the TV panel sector, while OLEDs take a mere 1.8 percent.

By Song Su-hyun (