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WitsView : LCD Monitor Market Demand Demonstrated Robust Growth in the Slow Season

21 January 2010 Display

According to WitsView’s global LCD monitor SI shipment survey in December 2009, shipments of top ten SIs grew by 3.8% to 13.29 million units. Although December 2009 was a slow period for shipments, market demand grew due to gradual recovery in the global economy and the confirmation of the price increase in LCD monitor panels during 1Q10. Product pull-in and stocking-up from top ten SIs’ major clients spurred the steady growth in the overall shipments.
In terms of brand shipments, according to WitsView’s top 10 monitor brand survey, total monitor shipments reversed the previous trends with 3.7% growth to 12.08 million units in December 2009; this figure outperformed WitsView’s previous projection. The main reasons behind this growth are: first, the price increase in monitor panels has been confirmed; hence, downstream customers are placing their orders in advance. Therefore, as top 10 monitor brand vendors restocked, the impact of slow season effect on shipments was reduced. Second, striving to achieve their annual shipment target, AOC’s (the branding subsidiary of TPV) shipments hit a record high growth of 52%, a tremendous boost to the overall shipment growth. However, the current end-market demand for IT products is not as strong as that of upstream panel market; sales of all major regional markets reflected a flattish performance. However, with upstream panel capacity allocated first to the production of LCD TVs, and the delayed delivery of several components, upstream panel makers may still be able to sustain the monitor panel price increase with the limited panel supply.
As for market outlook in 1Q10: while IT products do not follow seasonal sales fluctuations as that of TVs, the re-stocking of monitors since November 2009 had brought about a stronger down cycle; but the inventory still need to be digested by end-market demand. Therefore, after the Chinese New Year, the next crucial turning point for supply and demand is expected in March, and it warrants close attention. WitsView projects that shipments of top ten LCD monitor brands will rise by 1.4% QoQ in 1Q10.

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