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Electronics Production | July 20, 2009

TFT LCD glass substrate will continue to be tight in Q3’09

In its newly-released Quarterly LCD Glass Substrate Report, DisplaySearch reports that TFT LCD glass tightness in Q2’09 will continue in Q3’09 as TFT LCD panel makers are increasing capacity utilization and demanding more glass substrate from suppliers.

According to DisplaySearch’s glass substrate supply-demand calculation (Table 1), Q2’09 glass demand increased to 18,958 thousands square meters per month, up 26% Q/Q and much higher than the glass supply growth of 12% from Q1’09 to Q2’09. This has created a tight supply situation and led TFT LCD makers to call for increased allocations from their glass sources for the second half of the year. In Q2’09, the glass glut ratio (oversupply amount) is 0.6%, which is far below DisplaySearch’s definition of balance point (5-10% glut). Assuming glass companies continue to bring more capacity on line in Q3’09, supply is expected to grow at 8% Q/Q; however, the glut ratio is still forecast to be below the balance point. DisplaySearch estimates that glass supply demand will reach a balance in Q4’09. “The glass supply-demand balance in Taiwan has been different from Korea or Japan,” according to Tadashi Uno, Director of Materials and Components Market Research at DisplaySearch and the author of the report. “The economic crisis that hit in October 2008 impacted Taiwanese TFT LCD makers the most, due to currency differences and customer relationships. In Q4’08 and Q1’09, TFT LCD makers consumed glass inventory and reduced glass orders, especially Taiwanese panel makers, so glass makers stopped tanks to avoid losing money.” Uno continued, “Starting in Q2’09, TFT LCD makers began rapidly ramping up production, and are placing full capacity orders to glass makers. However, it takes 1 to 2 months to bring a stopped tank back to mass production, leading to glass substrate tightness.” In its report, DisplaySearch presents market shares of glass substrate shipment area by generation and by region. The consolidated global market share of Corning and SCP (Samsung Corning Precision) was 52% in Q1’09, down from 55% in Q4’08. The three main Japanese glass substrate suppliers all gained share: AGC (Asahi Glass Corp.) had 23% share, up from 22% in Q4’08, NEG had 19%, up from 18% in Q1’09, and AvanStrate’s share also increased, from 5% in Q4’08 and 6% in Q1’09.
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