LED wafer prices stabilize with more suppliers and steadier demand

June 11, 2012 — After high growth and limited supply in 2010, then a price slump and oversupply in 2011, the light-emitting diode (LED) sapphire substrate supply should find a supply/demand balance in 2012, shows Displaybank. The overall LED industry is showing positive signs of recovery due to the decreased price of LED lighting and LED lighting support policies from governments.

Figure 1. LED substrate use by region, year (Thousands of mm). Source: "LED-use Ingot, Substrate Industry Analysis & Market Forecast" Report, February 2012, Displaybank.

2012’s balance of demand and supply is based on the downward-stabilized price of sapphire wafers. More ingot suppliers are coming online, with new entrants in Korea and China, providing a broader supplier base for LED makers.

Figure 2. LED substrate price trends by wafer size, monthly. Source: "LED-use Ingot, Substrate Industry Analysis & Market Forecast" Report, February 2012, Displaybank.

Large corporations are becoming sapphire ingot suppliers in Korea, which could push changes at existing ingot makers. For instance, the vertical integration of LED upstream and downstream industries was completed as Samsung Electronics merged Samsung LED. As a result, Korea is expected to have competitiveness ranging from LED ingot to the industrial sector of all LED lighting and application product areas by cost reduction and capacity expansion, Displaybank reports.

In China, new LED-related companies continue to open, with LED support policies from the Chinese government. Existing companies are also aggressively expanding their capacities. China is expected to be the biggest supply and demand market for LEDs, especially as consumers of LED lighting.

Displaybank analyzed overall status and forecast regarding the sapphire ingot industry through manufacturing technology and processing of the ingot used most widely as LED-use ingot, major ingot makers’ status and new companies’ trend, capacity analysis by maker, market price forecast and demand prediction, in “LED-use Ingot, Substrate Industry Analysis & Market Forecast.”

This report was written for LED ingot and substrate companies, Epi-wafer/chip-related companies, package companies, companies interested in opening LED application business, and those belonging to LED-related parts and materials sectors. Learn more at http://www.displaybank.com/_eng/research/report_view.html?id=733&cate=8

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