WitsView: Large-sized panels posted outstanding performance in November, indicating a stronger down cycle
According to WitsView’s latest survey, global large-sized panel shipments (including the 8.9-inch and above) rose by 3.4% MoM to 49.53 million units in November 2009, and its YoY performance far-exceeded expectations, with a 74.2% surge. In a typical crystal cycle, panel shipments usually decline by November due to the slow season, and the global financial downturn further fueled the down cycle effect last year, Nov’08 panel shipments plummeted by 21.7% MoM. After the global economy gradually recovers, this year’s end-market sales in the U.S. and Europe during Thanksgiving and Christmas season was particularly outstanding compared to the same period last year; TFT-LCD panel industry showed a stronger down cycle thanks largely to brand vendors’ aggressive promotion to stimulate purchases, and the boom of China’s domestic demand. With optimistic outlook toward sales in China during New Year and Chinese New Year, manufacturers have begun to stock-up early, in October, which helped spur the growth in panel shipments in November.
Looking at shipments of the 3 main applications – after 3 consecutive months of decline, inventory of LCD monitor panels has returned to a relatively healthy level; moreover, upstream and downstream customers’ optimistic outlook toward the market in 1Q10 prompted them to raise their previous production plan, and their inventory replenishment invigorated demand for panels during the down cycle. As a result, monitor panel shipments grew by 7.1% MoM to 16.24 million in November, or 55.3% YoY growth. Notebook panels continue to benefit from the conversion to new models equipped with Windows 7 OS, and shipments rose by 2.7% MoM to 18.17 million units, or 73.7% YoY growth. Thanks to China’s domestic demand stimulus program, shipments of LCD TV panels have been showing strong growth momentum, reaching 15.11 million units in November, up by 0.6% MoM, or a triple-digit growth of 101.3% YoY.
Demand for large-sized panels posted growth in the down cycle; yet, it remains to be seen whether sales performance in the retail market would be as positive as expected. Furthermore, with the rise of the China market, the boom and bust cycle in the market may shift from the original pattern which had been heavily-oriented toward U.S. and Europe market.
Table 1: TFT-LCD Panel Shipment in Nov-09 (K units)