SANTA CLARA, CALIF., December 13, 2011—In response to falling large-area TFT LCD panel prices in 2011, panel makers have minimized their 2H’11 production, but preparation for 2012 models and gradual clearing of supply chain inventories are encouraging panel makers to take a more positive stance in their production strategies. According to the NPD DisplaySearch Quarterly Large-Area Production Strategy Report, global TFT LCD glass input peaked in Q2’11, achieving a record 42.1 million square meters, but then fell to 36.5 million square meters in Q3’11, and is expected to reach 37.8 million square meters in Q4’11.
In Q1’12, panel makers are expecting to increase glass input by 5%, to 39.8 million square meters. The forecast capacity utilization is 77% in Q1’12, which is 7% higher than previously expected. This is partly based on expectations that prices have bottomed out in this cycle. Also, panel makers are planning for new models, such as larger size multi-function monitor panels, ultra-slim notebook PC panels, new TV panel sizes including 39”W, 43”W, 48”W and 50”W with cost effective CCFL and LED backlights, and slim bezels. However, with 2012 market demand still unclear, panel makers foresee the possibility of adjusting capacity utilization again in Q1’12.
Table 1: Global TFT LCD Glass Input by Application (Million m²/Quarter)