LG Display says it will keep pumping out LCD panels

Mike Wheatley

LG Display has followed rival firm Samsung Display’s lead in extending its production of liquid crystal display panels in South Korea for another year due to growing demand for the technology.


LG Display reportedly decided to keep making LCD panels until the end of this year due to a request by its parent firm LG Electronics, which was facing difficultly in securing a sufficient volume of them for its own needs, The Elec reported.

The company had intended to stop making LCD panels at its Korean facilities by the end of last year, though it was planning to continue manufacturing them at its factory in Guangzhou, China. But higher demand for LCD panels, coupled with some manufacturer’s inability to produce enough of them due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has forced LG Display’s hand, and it has now abandoned that plan.

LG Electronics is said to have particular difficultly in procuring “in-plane switching” LCD TV panels used in premium TV models that enable wider viewing angles and colour range. LG Display specializes in production of those panels, The Elec said. The company was hoping to be able to buy them from Sakai SIO and HKC in China, but the COVID-19 pandemic meant that HKC delayed opening up new production lines. Meanwhile Sakai SIO is said to have had difficultly procuring the specialist equipment needed to make IPS LCD panels.

Another problem is that Sakai SIO and HCK also supply LG’s rival Samsung Electronics and consider it to be a higher priority customer than LG.

The Elec said LG Display manufactures LCD panels at its 7th generation P7 line and 8.5th generation P8 line, both located in Paju, South Korea. Together, they have the capacity to manufacture around 240,000 to 250,000 LCD sheets per month.

The higher demand for LCD panels has resulted in a big jump in prices, which means the technology is more profitable than before. In the third quarter of 2020, prices were up 30% from the preceding quarter, and analysts say they have continued rising since then.

LG Display’s decision to extend LCD production comes just days after Samsung Display said that it too will continue making LCD panels until the end of 2021, at the request of its parent company.