Normal utilization rates hover around 90%. 50% is really low and is the result of weak demand for LCD goods. But the news is that Taiwan’s LCD manufacturers are suffering quite a bit from this downturn. AU Optronics (AUO), Taiwan’s top LCD supplier, is at about 50% utilization in Q4’08. Chi Mei Optoelectronics (CMO)’s average utilization is below 50% while Chunghwa Picture Tubes (CPT) has a dismal 30% average utilization rate in Q4’08. Analysis on LG Display and Samsung after the jump.
On the other hand, the utilization rates for Korea-based LCD manufacturers are around 85%-90%, within the normal range. The two suppliers are LG Display (LPL) and Samsung. One of the reasons for normal level utilization rates is the strong ties these two suppliers have with strong LCD TV brands. For instance, Samsung’s LCD division supplies LCD TV panels not only to Samsung but to Sony as well via the S-LCD joint venture. Although Q4’08 levels are strong for Samsung it has been reported that December utilization rates have dropped to just 70%. LPL has strong ties to LG as well as Philips. However, we’re headed toward a weak seasonal quarter: Q1 and that’s when even LPL and Samsung is expected to lower their utilization rates to 70% to 75%.
[tags]AUO, AU Optronics, CMO, Chi Mei Optoelectronics, CPT, Chunghwa Picture Tubes, LPL, LG Display, LG, LGE, LG Electronics, Philips, Samsung, S-LCD, LCD Manufacturer, Display Manufacturer[/tags]