Panels used to make LCD TVs see 4.9 percent price decline in September

Anemic demand for LCD TV panels in September helped drive down prices of large-sized LCD panels by nearly 5 percent in September, according to an IHS iSuppli LCD PriceTrak report.

The 4.9 percent contraction in LCD TV panel pricing was the steepest in at least 12 months and also was the second straight month of decline greater than 4 percent. In August, LCD TV panel pricing fell 4.3 percent following dips averaging less than 1 percent in the prior four months.

The last time a drop in LCD TV panel prices fell more than in September was in September 2010 when prices declined 5.2 percent, according to IHS. The price reductions of TV panels continued in October as the end of the year approached.

The weak pricing in the TV sector meant overall prices remained depressed for large-sized LCD panels, including those used for monitors and notebook computers.
Average LCD panel pricing for all three sectors — televisions, notebooks and monitors — in September was 3.8 percent lower than in August.

"Slumping demand in Western Europe and North America are primarily to blame for the poor performance of LCD TV panels," said Sweta Dash, senior director for liquid crystal displays research at IHS.

China was another factor, due to many consumers making their LCD TV purchases in August in anticipation of National Day celebrations in October, according to HIS. The next big surge for LCD TV panels in China isn't expected until the end of the year, timed to coincide with Lunar New Year festivities in late January 2012.

In addition to the weak demand, moves among panel suppliers are driving down pricing.

To boost LCD TV panel demand and entice TV manufacturers to buy more, panel suppliers offered aggressive prices for Black Friday and Christmas holiday buying in the United States and Europe, the research firm said.