Flat-panel market collapsing

Flat-panel TV screen manufacturers have been working like crazy to keep up with market demand for the past half-dozen years. Those days are over, and new data suggests that the sector is on the cusp of a nightmare.

Prices of LCD and Plasma displays have tumbled as any consumer might recognise. This has caused manufacturers to scale back production. Earlier this week we commented on the problems in China with manufacturers severely trimming production.

Chinese and Taiwanese output is down, generally by one-third in China and by a troubling 65% at some Taiwanese producers. Indeed, retail prices are so low that profit margins have evaporated.

Trade estimates suggest that there are still 2m CRT displays still to be replaced.