LCD TV panel prices keep falling, with 55-inch LCD TV panels now selling for around US$100. The relentless drop is increasing pressures on Korean display producers to restructure their money-losing LCD businesses.
The average price of 55-inch LCD TV panels in September fell to US$102, down 6 percent from August, market researcher IHS Markit said on Sept. 25. The figure fell for five consecutive months since April. It fell by US$43 (30.6 percent) this year and is now threatening to go down below US$100. Prices keep falling for LCD panels of other sizes as well. The average price of 65-inch LCD TV panels is US$167, down 4 percent from the previous month, and that of 50-inch LCD TV panels stands at US$84, down 5 percent.
The steep fall in LCD TV panel prices is blamed on a price war triggered by Chinese companies, including BOE, China Star, CHOT, and CEC Panda. These companies are flooding the LCD market. In fact, the market share of Chinese LCD TV panels is expected to surpass 50 percent before long.
IHS Markit predicts that Chinese TV makers' share of the LCD TV panel market in terms of shipments will swell 5.2 percentage points to 50.2 percent in the fourth quarter from 45.0 percent in the second quarter. Their share reached early 30 percent in the first quarter of 2017, but rose by almost 20 percentage points in less than three years.
On the other hand, Korean companies have been on the wane in the LCD market. LG Display and Samsung Display jointly accounted for 35.9 percent of the LCD TV panel market in the first quarter of 2017, but are expected to occupy 27.6 percent in the fourth quarter of this year. In terms of sales revenue, LG Display is still the No. 1 player with a 22.3 percent market share, outclassing BOE with 17.4 percent. Yet BOE is expected to overtake LG Display soon as Korean display makers are speeding up their LCD business restructuring.