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Small- to medium-size TV panels see fast price drops

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.

According to Sigmaintell Consulting, LCD TV panel prices for mainstream size segments rose 70-160% in the 13 months from June 2020 to June 2021, the longest period of upswing in the history of the panel industry. However, TV vendors sharply decreased panel procurement mainly due to troubles in marine shipment and consequently, demand for LCD TV panels began to shrink in July 2021 with prices falling since then.

From early July to early October 2021, the average open-cell panel price for 32-inch HD 50/60Hz LCD TV applications decreased from US$87 to US$46; 43-inch FHD 50/60Hz dropped from US$137 to US$85; abd 55-inch 4K 50/60Hz fell from US$227 to US$155.

The average open-cell panel price for 65-inch 4K 50/60Hz LCD TV applications fell by US$63 from early August to early October, and that for 75-inch ones slipped by US$61 during the period, with the extent of price drops much smaller than that for 32-, 43- and 55-inch panels.

As 32-, 43- and 55-inch LCD TV panels are mostly produced at 8.5/8.6G lines while 65- and 75-inch panels are mainly produced using 10.5G ones, the impacts from the price falls vary from maker to maker. In particular, only China-based BOE Technology and China Star Optoelectronics as well as Japan-based Sakai SIO Display Technology have 10.5G lines among all panel makers.

According to market researchers' forecast, global demand for 65-inch LCD TV panels will increase from 25 million units in 2021 to 38 million units in 2025 at a CAGR of 11% and that for 75-inch models from nearly seven million units to nearly 12 million units at CAGR of 13%. In contrast, 2021-2025 CAGRs for 32-, 43- and 55-inch TV-use LCS panels are -7%, 1% and 2% respectively.

Despite fluctuating demand, increases in screen sizes and resolution levels have become a trend in the global TV market. Based on Sigmaintell's surveys, proportions of all TVs for 32- and 43-inch models have been shrinking in the China market, and the proportion for 65-inch models will rise from 20% in 2021 to nearly 22% in 2022, and for over 65-inch models from 12% to nearly 13%. The average TV size in the China market will reach 55.3 inches in 2021, increasing 3.2 inches from 2020, and further rise to nearly 56 inches in 2022.