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Strong OLED Panel Sales Highly Likely to Turn LG Display around
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Strong OLED Panel Sales Highly Likely to Turn LG Display around
  • By Michael Herh
  • August 31, 2018, 12:08
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LG Display’s Plant in Paju near Seoul.

LG Display enjoyed strong OLED panel sales in the first half of the year, riding on growing demand for organic light emitting diode (OLED) TVs. Market researcher IHS Markit predicts LG Display will continue to enjoy such strong sales in the third quarter.

In addition, a rapid recovery of OLED panel prices following that of LCD panels has led some display industry experts to forecast that LG Display, the only large-sized OLED panel maker, would be able to stage a turnaound. On August 30, IHS Markit predicted that LG Display's OLED TV panel shipments would reach 743,000 units in the third quarter of this year, a 59.78% jump from 465,000 units of last year.


This means that LG Display will continue the trend of a sharp rise in shipments in the first half of this year. IHS Markit said its OLED TV panel shipments in the first half of this year were 1,275,000, up 92.02% from the same period of last year. The ASP of OLED TV panels which had dropped is also recovering rapidly thanks to a surge in demand. In the second quarter of this year, the ASP of large-size OLED TV panels stood at US$712.5, 2.5% higher than US$695.5 in the previous quarter.

The ASP of large-sized OLED panels reached US$812.54 in the first quarter of last year but dropped to US$600, and recovered to the US$700 level in the second quarter of this year after a long time. IHS Markit forecast that the ASP would rise to US$731.9 in the third quarter. The recovery was led by 55-inch panels which account for about 70% of the market. The ASP of 55-inch OLED panels sank to US$527.6 in the first quarter of this year, then moved up to US$535 in the second quarter and is expected to remain at this level until the end of the year.

Industry watchers say that the increase in OLED TV panel sales is attributable to the fact that global TV producers are joining the OLED group one after another. LG Electronics first started to produce OLED TV panels in 2013. Then, Sony, Toshiba and Panasonic in Japan and Philips, Grundig and Bang &Olufsen in Europe began production of OLED TVs, joining the OLED group. Recently, China’s Hisense entered the group.

"Technological advancement cut down on production cost, ultimately leading to a cut in panel prices," an LG Display official said. "An increase in demand has driven up panel prices lately."

This increase in demand for OLED TV panels is good news to sales of LG Display, the only large OLED panel maker at the moment. Moreover, LCD prices which bottomed due to a price war with Chinese display makers, has shown a sign of a recovery. Therefore in the display industry, experts are forecasting that LG Display which recorded a deficit for the second straight quarter of this year will soon turn to black.

In the meantime, LG Display's small and medium-sized (9-inch or smaller) OLED panel shipments are also on the rise. IHS Markit expects LG Display's small and medium-sized OLED panel shipments in the third quarter of this year to inflate 82.74% to 7.2 million units from 3.94 million units a year before.