Reading time ( words)
The latest monthly LCD TV panel shipment report from WitsView, a division of TrendForce, finds the total TV panel shipments reached 22.31 million units in July, down 1% from the prior month and up 7% a year ago. Branded TV vendors remain optimistic about the peak season sales in the fourth quarter even though sales results in the end market have been weak so far this year. Moreover, brand vendors have recently raised their panel purchases in order to strengthen their negotiating positions vis-à-vis the panel makers. All these factors have kept up TV panel shipments, which will stay at about same level in the third quarter as in the second based on WitsView’s estimation.
Among the six top panel makers, SDC, BOE and CSOT stood out in the July shipments results. SDC benefitted considerably from returning orders for Samsung TV sets, and its monthly shipment growth reached 28% as a result. BOE and CSOT respectively posted 4% and 5% growth in July. Their good performances were based on the expansions of their Gen. 8.5 capacities, which led to shipment increases for their 32-inch, 48-inch, and 55-inch panels. BOE’s new size category, the 43-inch, has also entered production. Conversely, the other three top panel makers – LGD, AUO and Innolux, have not increased their TV panel capacities and lacked additional orders from major clients, so their July shipments respectively declined by 13%, 2% and 18% compared with the prior month.
According to WitsView’s fourth-quarter forecast, the slowdown in the Chinese regional economies shows that the country’s domestic market is saturated. Moreover, branded TV vendors apparently have not devised exciting activities related to Chinese promotional sales events that will be taking place towards end of the year, such as Mid-Autumn Festival, National Day and Singles’ Day. Whether brand vendors will keep up their panel purchases after mid-September is going to be a major concern in the panel market. While panel stock up demand has been strong in the previous three quarters of 2015, the end market sales have been flat and inventories have been building up as panels are not being consumed at a steady pace. Because of low demand and rising inventory level, WitsView’s estimates that TV panel shipments in the fourth quarter will fell 10% compared with the third as the supply-demand imbalance become more severe.