TV panel shipments jump by 18.6% to 9.15 million units in August

According to WitsView’s survey, worldwide large-size panel shipments in August reached 35.3 million units, a 7.8% MoM increase and a mere 2.2% growth on year. Since SI makers and brand vendors started to adjust their inventory levels in June, panel shipments have fallen for two consecutive months. The market environment has been further battered by the slowdown in the global economy, weak end market demand and absence of a market boost from the Beijing Olympics. However, for August, panel shipments have at least returned to June’s levels. By observing the current panel orders placed by SI makers, due to the traditional strong seasonality (albeit much weaker than previous years), shipments are expected to continue increasing in the following months. Among the three main applications, TV panels experienced the biggest growth in August—a positive sign amid the current sluggish market conditions. With TV brand vendors starting to pull-in inventory for the year-end promotion sales, TV panels were up sharply by 18.6% to a new high of 9.2 million units. In the IT segment, NB panel shipments were relatively the same as last month, down by a mere 0.7% to 11.1 million units. As for monitors, due to the low base level in July, it grew by 8.5% to 15 million units.

Figure: TFT-LCD Panel Shipment (K units)





















The aggregated large size panel area shipments in August reached 5.99 million square meters, up sharply by 13.2% MoM and 14% YoY. Due to brisk shipments of TV panels and rising volume of the above 20” (16:9) widescreen monitor products, the area shipment growth was even higher than unit shipments. TVs and monitor shipments were up respectively by 18.5% and 10.1% to 3.5 million and 1.7 million square meters. As for NBs, there were slightly down by 0.6% to 761K square meters.

Figure: TFT-LCD Panel Area Shipment (K square meter)





















TV Panels

In August, TV panel shipments reached 9.2 million units, up by 18.6% MoM and 21.2% YoY. Area-wise, they grew by 18.5% MoM to 3.5 million square meters. In light of preparations for China’s National Day holidays and year-end Christmas sales, demand for TV panels rose significantly in August, where growth reached a new historical high. Size-wise, the 26”, 22” and 42” saw the most evident growth, up respectively by 62%, 30% and 26% MoM. Meanwhile, amid the macroeconomic woes, consumers have become both more “price-conscious” and “size-conscious”. The 26” and 32”, both considered smaller-sized TVs saw their shipments account for 52% of the aggregated TV shipments. It can thus be seen that due to the weak economy, consumers have become more attracted to bargain-priced products. The TV shipment screen size breakdown can be seen in the figure below.

Monitor Panels

The aggregated monitor panel shipments in August reached 15 million units, up by 8.5% MoM, but down by 11.2% YoY. July marked the lowest point for monitor panel shipments during the past year. Coupled by plummeting panel prices in July and August, SI and brand vendors have become much more cautious now. Although excess panel inventory continues to be cleared away, downstream clients are paying special attention to their inventory levels, thereby exhibiting a more conservative attitude toward their inventory pull-in. Size-wise, the mainstream 17”, 19”, 19”W and 22”W all grew by 15~20% MoM, respectively reaching a market share of 17.7%, 13.8%, 27%, and 14.2%. The 18.5’W (16:9) also witnessed notable growth, bringing its shipment ratio to 3%. The monitor shipment screen size breakdown can be seen in the figure below.

NB Panels

In August, NB shipments reached 11.1 million units, down by a mere 0.7% MoM, but up by 10.3% YoY. Due to the brand vendors’ adjustments of some panel orders, NBs still experienced a small slide in shipments. This marks the third consecutive decline since June. Meanwhile, amid the aggressive push of netbooks, in contrast to the more common NBs, their prices are more attractive. Due to their relatively strong market potential, some panel capacity has been shifted to the 7~10.X” mid-sized panels. Size-wise, the mainstream 14.1” and 15.4W” fell by 5~7% MoM, respectively reaching a market share of 26.2% and 51.5%. Moreover, notable grown was seen for the 16”W (16:9) and 17”W. Their market share respectively rose from 1.4% and 6.3% to 3.3% and 7.2%. The NB shipment screen size breakdown can be seen in the figure below.


Given the arrival of the traditional strong seasonality, based on the pull-in from SIs and brand vendors, the market demand is gradually improving. Coupled by preparations for China’s National Day holidays and year-end Christmas sales, panel shipments are expected to gradually increase MoM. For September, IT panel shipments are expected to rise by 3~5%, while TVs will witness a roughly 10% growth. However, in the wake of the macroeconomic woes and credit crisis in financial markets, the market confidence and consumer buying power have been seriously impacted. Spending on consumer electronic products could thus be affected. The uncertain global economy is bound to take a toll on the TFT LCD industry. With panel prices already near the cash cost level, panel makers are now under mounting pressure. The current key challenge to panel makers is striking a balance in the product mix, capacity allocation, plant expansion and formation of strategic alliances.

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