Global demand for LED chips has been picking up strongly, and is expected to finally exceed supply in 2017. In addition, Apple has recently patented a new smartphone solution that would use a range of Micro LEDs for fingerprint recognition. As a result, prices of LED products have been on the rise.
As market sentiment improves, stocks of Taiwan’s LED makers have been on an uptrend. Shares of LED lighting maker Epistar Corp. surged by daily limit to close at NT $26.45 on the 17th, and gained over 6% on the 18th. Shares of EVERLIGHT Electronics Co. and Unity Opto Technology climbed 5 percent and 4% respectively during the session on the 17th.
Under U.S. president Trump’s infrastructure plan, prices of LED materials including copper, gold wire, aluminum, and PCB boards are expected to increase. This will further influence stock performance of LED manufacturers not only in Taiwan but also those in Japan, South Korea and the United States.
It is expected that due to increase in costs, there will be an industry-wide price hike in the LED market. Chinese major LED maker Sanan Opto has reportedly increased prices of some products by 8%. However, other manufacturers are still sitting on the fence about whether to follow suit or not.
In an interview in January, Robert Yeh, Chairman of Taiwan’s LED maker EVERLIGHT, said that in 2017, the LED industry in Taiwan will perform better than in 2016, and EVERLIGHT will likely achieve a double-digit growth. He was especially bullish on the development of IoT, self-driving technology, and Micro LED. Commenting on the uptrend in prices, Chairman Yeh said that on the one hand, it might be a sign of market recovery; on the other hand, it also suggests that LED makers cannot afford to cut costs anymore.