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Manufacturers Maintain Conservative Outlook Towards Production Expansion

By TrendForce
Published: May 29,2014

LED price for lighting applications have dropped around 3-7% in 2Q14. Similarly, backlight-use LED prices have also seen a decline, dipping around 5-10%, with direct-type TV backlight-use LEDs decreasing by 13% due to fierce market competition, according to the recent price report from LEDinside, the green energy research division of TrendForce.

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Prices of high-power and mid-power lighting-use LEDs continue to show a slight decline this quarter. For mid-power 5630, Korean manufacturers represented by Samsung are still adopting price strategy to seize market share.

High-power LED price drops were more dramatic, especially in prices for products with higher brightness (120-140lm), which had a drop rate of 7% this quarter. Product line extensions and performance improvements remain the major focus of manufacturers in terms of COB products.

At present, lighting manufacturers will only place orders once LED manufacturers have completed under-30W product lines. Backlight order visibility on average has reached 1-2 months, said Jack Kuo, Assistant Research Manager of LEDinside. LED chip and package manufacturers continue to increase utilization rates.

Even though LED manufacturers have maintained high utilizations rates, price drops of 10-15% each year have impacted revenue and profit. Although booking orders of 3Q14 can be seen, manufacturers have a conservative outlook on expanding production capacity in response to the order demands.

LED manufacturers are hence turning their attention towards developing niche markets and high value-added LED products this year and gradually reduce backlight-use LED product proportion, said Kuo. The niche LED markets that will garner manufacturers’ attention include automotive lighting, flash LED, and UV LED. In terms of high value-added LED products, focus will be on high color gamut backlight-use LED and high CRI lighting-use LED.

With the Brazil World Cup right around the corner in June, market demand for large-sized and 4K high resolution TV has increased.

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Figure I

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