Supply shortage of LCD TV panels worsening in Taiwan
Jun 29, 2005
Many of Taiwan's major home-appliance and audio/video equipment makers are suffering supply shortage of 20- and 32-inch thin film transistor-liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) panels for LCD TVs and are forced to outsource from overseas panel suppliers.
Industry sources attributed the supply shortage of 20-inch LCD TV panels to local makers cutting production of such panels bearing low profit margins. And the supply shortage of 32-inch panels was mainly caused by the fact that the new sixth-generation panel facilities of panel makers are yet to run at full capacity.
Eastern Asia Technology Ltd. (Eastech), a leading contract A/V equipment original equipment maker in Taiwan, recently won a big-ticket order for 100,000 units of 20- and 32-inch LCD TVs, but local panel suppliers could meet only one-third of its panel demand. Eastech has decided to soon outsource the needed panels from South Korean suppliers.
Industry sources said the supply shortage of 37-inch panels is also quite serious while TV sales are expected to grow rapidly in the second half, the traditionally peak season.
Eastech chairman Liu Chen-lin said that the supply shortage of 20-inch TV panels would be "very terrible" all the year due to panel makers' limited-volume production. The supply shortage of 32-inch panels is expected to ease a little after the new sixth-generation facilities of local panel makers record higher defect-free ratio in production in October.
AUO's vice president Hsiung Huei recently admitted that the demand for 32-inch panels is so strong, but the mass-production progress at his company's sixth-generation panel plant could not catch up with the demand.
AUO's sixth-generation plant is expected to turn out 30,000 substrates this month, and half of which will be for the production of TV panels and the other half for PC panels. PC.
Hsu Chuen-hwa, sales vice president of Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp. (CMO), Taiwanâ€™s No. 2 TFT-LCD panel maker and No. 1 supplier of TV panels, said that the demand for over-32-inch (included) LCD TV panels from downstream makers is far higher than expected and therefore CMO can hardly meet the demand.
According to Hsu, CMO is expected to gradually achieve a demand/supply balance in the second half of the year, as its 5.5th-generation plants will gradually increase monthly capacities by 10,000 substrates.