TFT LCD prices to fall despite growing demand

Supply will outstrip demand - just, says analyst

The gap between demand for TFT LCDs and how well manufacturers can supply them will narrow during 2004 to just two per cent in Q4, market watcher DisplaySearch said today.

Supply will exceed demand throughout 2004, despite growing interest in notebook PCs, LCD panels for desktop monitors and LCD TVs. Head of DisplaySearch's Taiwan operation, C E Wang, today told reporters the gap will average 3.8 per cent, down from the 5.5 per cent the company forecast last autumn.

On a quarterly basis, the gap will come to 5.1, 5.2, 3.3 and two per cent, respectively, he said, as demand picks up during the second half of the year in the back to school and Christmas periods.

Even so, said Wang, panel prices will fall by around $3-5 a month throughout the year as yields improve and production capacity rises.

Overall, demand for large-format TFT LCDs will hit 130 million units, Wang forecast, with sales reaching $46.6 billion, up 45.2 per cent from last year's figure, $32.1 billion.

Monitors will account for over half of the LCD market (57.4 per cent), and will finally outpace demand for CRTs. Come 2007, and LCDs will account for 80 per cent of monitor sales, up from 41.7 per cent last year. Notebook panels will take 20 per cent of the market, again on rising demand.

Demand for LCD TVs of all types will reach ten million units this year, Wang added. ®

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