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LG Displays Expands OLED Production, Causing Another Drop in TV Panel Prices

LG Display (LGD)—a South Korea-based major supplier—announced a plan to expand OLED production, causing the price of OLED panels for TVs to plummet again. Shortly before the announcement, OLED panels, for the first time in three years, witnessed a price increase in April–June thanks to demand from the stay-at-home economy and rise of OLED TV sales, The Nikkei reported on October 13.

In practice, panel and TV suppliers negotiate with each other and decide the price. During the July–September period, the trade price of OLED panels for 65″ TVs (a standard-setting product) dropped by 3% ($25) compared with the previous quarter to $840 per unit, while panels for 55″ TVs (with the highest throughput) also fell by 3% ($15) to $500 per unit.

LGD’s 8.5-gen factory in Guangzhou is expanding its OLED production from 60,000 pcs to 90,000 pcs/month. The company’s utilization rate of OLED panels in 3Q21 (also taking the productivity of South Korean factories into account) remained at the level of ≥90%.

The Nikkei report said that TV sales has dwindled due to the tepid growth of the stay-at-home economy, where the price of OLED’s competitor LCDs has dropped considerably. If overall TV sales continue to shrink, OLED prices are likely to plunge.

According to the statistical results revealed by the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JIETA) on September 22, the growth slowdown of the stay-at-home economy has become a drag on thin TV (including 4K and OLED TVs) shipments in Japan. Consequently, the domestic shipment in August tumbled by 28.9% (YoY) to 359,000 pcs, marking the second consecutive monthly decrease and a record low of monthly shipment since April 2020 (352,000 pcs).

Specifically, the shipment of OLED TVs in Japan dropped to 35,000 pcs in August (i.e., −28.9% YoY), which was the first decline since April 2018 (where OLED TV shipment data were published for the first time). (Source: MoneyDJ)

By LEDinside