LCD TV panel supply in terms of area shipments in fourth-quarter 2021 is estimated to be 8.9% in excess of demand, and consequently, November quotes for such panels of all sizes are expected to continue to drop sequentially, according to Sigmaintell Consulting.
The Hsinchu Science Park (HSP), Southern Taiwan Science Park (STSP) and Central Taiwan Science Park (CTSP) generated combined revenues of NT$2,370.575 billion (US$84.89 billion) in January-August 2021, growing 24.53% on year, according to Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST).
While LCD TV panel prices have generally been falling since July 2021, the extent of decrease for the 32-, 43- and 55-inch segments has been much bigger the 65- and 75-inch ones, which has sent makers cutting more of their small- to medium-sise TV panel production in order to curb price falls.
China-based display panel makers Visionox Technology, BOE Technology and China Star Optoelectronics Technology (CSOT) have seen considerable achievements in producing and receiving orders for OLED panels, closing in on LG Display and Samsung Display, according to industry sources.
Taiwan recorded exports totaling US$39.65 in September 2021, hitting a monthly record for the third consecutive time with growth of 0.3% sequentially and 29.2% year-on-year, while the corresponding imports reached US$33.21 billion, the second highest-ever monthly figure which slipped 8.0% sequentially but rose 40.4% year-on-year, according to the Ministry of Finance (MOF).
Taiwan-based makers received export orders totaling US$62.90 billion in September 2021, the highest-ever monthly level with increases of 17.6% sequentially and 25.7% year-on-year, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).
Taiwan's Investment Commission has approved AU Optronics' (AUO) acquisition of a 49% stake in its China-based subsidiary, AU Optronics (Kunshan), from a joint-venture shareholder at CNY3.995 billion (US$617 million) to wholly own the subsidiary, according to the company.
There will be 887 million large-size (9-inch and above) LCD panels shipped globally in 2021 and the shipments will increase to 918 million units in 2026 at a CAGR of 0.69%, according to Digitimes Research.
Local governments' restricting power supply in China has led to decreases in utilization of production capacities at LCD panel supply chain makers' factories mostly in southern and eastern China to about 60%, and consequently, output of panel components and LCD modules has dropped by about 30%, according to AVC Revo.
The car industry has been plagued by component shortages, and automotive IC shortages are likely to last till at least 2023. TSMC's plan to build a mature process fab in Japan comes as good news for a semiconductor sector yearning for more capacity supply. And PanelSemi CEO Ting Chin-lung is making efforts to materialize his concept of "panel semiconductor."
While global demand for TVs has decreased, global demand for TFT-LCD panels used in business-use notebooks and monitors, commercial and automotive displays, customized displays has been strong and is expected to remain until the end of 2021 at least, according to chairman Paul Peng for AU Optronics (AUO).
Chinese panel makers have become the world's largest LCD makers after over a decade of fierce market competition, while South Korean panel makers have chosen to gradually withdraw from the LCD market and turn their attention to OLED.
LCD panel maker AU Optronics (AUO) has reported consolidated revenues of NT$32.999 billion (US$1.18 billion) for September, growing 0.88% on month and 26.54% on year, while fellow maker Innolux saw those of NT$29.454 billion decrease 6.15% on month but increase 11.76% on year.
The server sector has not seen any improvements so far, and server supply is expected to fall short of demand through mid-2022. Notebook vendors are generally still upbeat aboout demand in first-half 2022 although some market watchers have expressed skepticism, judging from the weak demand in some market segments. China's restrictions on electricity use have sent many manufacturers worrying about their production, but Innolux president James Yang believes that such measures could curb over-expansions in production capacity, and keep LCD prices stable.
LCD panel prices are expected to fall at a slower pace in the fourth quarter of 2021 and become relatively stable in the first quarter of 2022 as China power restrictions will help the panel segment get back on an orderly development, according to Innolux president James Yang. Prices are unlikely to fall below makers' cash cost levels, Yang indicated.
China-based smartphone vendors have increasingly adopted locally-produced OLED panels for high-end models, helping Chinese panel makers challenge Samsung Display's dominance in the global supply of smartphone-use OLED, according to industry sources.
Samsung sold nearly 300 million handsets in 2019, a number Samsung regards as its last line of defense, hoping to sell no less than 300 million handsets a year to sustain its business development. For every node in its wafer foundry business, Samsung has targeted mainly the mobile communication sector, which also renders Samsung the best opportunity of breakthrough. However, contrary to expectations, Samsung's share of the Chinese handset market has plunged to less than 1%, and in the Indian market Samsung is facing strong challenges from Xiaomi and Vivo. In order to maintain competitiveness in pricing, outsourcing to Chinese makers has become an option. It is estimated that about 60 million Samsung handsets are manufactured by outsourcing partners.
Price of 11.6-inch panels is falling amid softening demand for Chromebooks, but AU Optronics (AUO) chairman Paul Peng stays positive about notebook demand in the coming years, saying remote learning has become as necessary as classroom learning.