Even though panel shipments from Taiwan companies declined in July and August, Corning still shipped 75% more glass substrates during those two months than it did in the same period a year ago. The global panel market will see a 60% annual growth this year, according to the company.
LCD TV market demand will pick up rapidly in the next two years, with market penetration for LCD TVs expected to rise from 5% in 2004 to 16% in 2006, boosting the demand for glass substrates, Corning projected.
LCD monitor demand will also be a key factor for glass substrate demand. LCD monitors will see a 77% market penetration by 2006, the company added. The total global substrate demand will grow by 40-60% annually through 2006, Corning forecast.
Although panel prices have decreased, demand for end-products still has not picked up as system makers have not decreased their prices as much as the panel makers, Corning said. Nevertheless, supply of glass substrates is still tight, and Cornings furnaces are still running at full capacity now. The company said it will expand its capacity in Taichung and Tainan Science Park (TSP) as previously planned.
Corning held a groundbreaking ceremony for its second plant in Taiwan at Central Taiwan Science Park (CTSP) yesterday. The companys three fifth-generation (5G) furnaces at TSP have already entered volume production; it has also finished construction of a 6G furnace, with another 5G furnace to be built in the fourth quarter of this year.