Asia to extend its share in global LED production, report says

October 18, 2012 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Asia, already by far the most important region for LED production, will extend its lead over Europe and North America, a report from Taiwan-based newspaper predicts. In 2011, the region accounted for 80% of MOCVD equipment demand for LED production; in 2012 it will account for 90%, the paper reckons. This is largely owed to the fact that Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and China are the major global centers for LED chip production. China will account for 68% of demand this year, although its LED chip makers still need to make major improvements to their technology; consequently, manufacturers in Taiwan, Japan and South Korea continue to have a competitive edge at present.

According to the report, South Korean manufacturers are generally more competitive in terms of their LED industry chain than their counterparts in Japan and Taiwan, largely thanks to their all-in-one, integrated modes of production, with value added by strong brands in the case of Samsung in particular. However, in terms of LED chip manufacturing capabilities alone, Japanese manufacturers are the most competitive, followed by players in Taiwan, South Korea and China in that order.

Japanese manufacturers are projected to have the highest total output value of any Asian nation/region for their LED businesses in 2012 at US$3.6 billion with year-on-year growth of 17%; followed by South Korean firms with US$3.2 billion and growth of 49.6%, thanks to vertical integration and the fact that output value figures also include modules; and Taiwan-based players with US$1.69 billion, due to their focus on LED component production. However, if modules are removed from the output value equation, Taiwan-based manufacturers will in fact outperform their South Korean counterparts in 2012.

China-based manufacturers that have recently prospered are projected to increase output value by 30% year on year to US$1.42 billion in 2012 as their newly acquired MOCVD capacity comes online. However, most China-based manufacturers mainly produce medium and low power LEDs, and as such currently pose little threat to the global industry standing of other players, the report finds.