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Undersupply forecast for global LCD market

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The global market for liquid crystal display (LCD) panels will see a supply shortage because of higher demand for large television panels, the Central News Agency (CNA) yesterday cited a local analyst as saying.

The global demand for LCD screens is forecast to grow 7 percent in 2014, outpacing an estimated 4-percent increase in worldwide LCD production capacity, said David Hsieh (謝勤益), vice president of the Greater China market at NPD DisplaySearch.

In comparison, LCD demand and supply growth both reached 5 percent in 2013, indicating a year of balance, with a slight oversupply and inventory adjustment following a boost in shipments in 2012, Hsieh said.

“2014 will be a tighter year, with demand for big-screen TVs growing on an area basis,” he said at a local conference on the flat panel display industry organized by NPD DisplaySearch.

NPD DisplaySearch earlier also said that global curved-TV display shipments are forecast to reach nearly 800,000 units in 2014 and exceed 6 million units in 2017.

The global TV market reached a peak in 2011, followed by two straight years of decline. This drop has prompted suppliers to explore various avenues for revitalizing the market, including organic light-emit diode (OLED) displays, curved screens and improved resolution.

Curved Screen Is Back Again

After almost two decades of efforts to make TV screens flatter, curved TVs emerged again last year and will continue growing in the market, with sales of curved LCD TVs peaking in 2016 and increasing shipments of OLED TVs boosting figures in 2017, the research firm said.

Curved LCD displays emerged as a spoiler for new OLED models in 2013 at Berlin's IFA, the world's leading trade show for consumer electronics and home appliances. With Samsung, LGE and several Chinese brands all showing curved-screen LCD TV models at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, such TVs are now more commonly seen in the market.

TV manufacturers are also exploring other technologies to increase TV sales. Although widely promoted, OLED TVs still face significant manufacturing problems, with only 100,000 units expected to be shipped in 2014 and annual shipments over 1 million only in 2016, according to the research company.

Concurrently, shipments of ultra-high-definition (UHD) 4K TVs are forecast to exceed 12 million units this year, rising to 62 million in 2017.

Demand and supply for UHD 4K TVs in the near future will be dominated by China, which accounted for 83 percent of all shipments of such products in 2013. China's share is expected to fall to 46 percent in 2017, as the rest of the world catches up, said NPD DisplaySearch.

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David Hsieh (謝勤益), vice president of NPD DisplaySearch's Greater China market, smiles for a photograph in Taipei, yesterday. Hsieh said that it is a forgone conclusion that liquid crystal display (LCD) prices will rise in the second quarter. He added that the Labor Day holiday and 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil will ensure the LCD industry of new prospects this year. (CNA)

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