Global LCD TV shipments in 2014 are expected to reach 210.8 million, up 3.2% year-on-year, according to WitsView, a subsidiary of Taiwan-based market intelligence firm TrendForce. Vendors’ inventories are currently healthy and Chinese vendors in particular are looking to expand their shipments in markets abroad by bumping up competition during Black Friday in the USA. LCD TV demand in China is also increasing in preparation for the October 1 holiday period, which means that oversupply is unlikely to occur in the short term. WitsView Research Director Burrell Liu noted, “TV panel pricing is expected to remain flat or increase throughout August into September but this is still yet to be fully determined, as end sales performance and whether vendors’ inventories are piling up will still all make a difference. The same will apply to notebook and monitor panels.”
Monitor and notebook panels are expected to remain in tight supply as makers are preparing for the busy season in the LCD TV industry. Additionally, demand for monitor and notebook PC bundles increased as vendors pushed such packages due to discontinuation of Windows XP, which holds a 25-30% proportion globally and 50% in China. Microsoft is also offering AIO deals as well as low-priced notebook subsidies, added Liu.
In June, inventories for the top six LCD TV vendors in China reached 5.2 weeks while Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics and Sony have panel inventories for about 3.5 weeks, showing there is still room for vendors to have backup panel supply. In terms of Ultra HD (4K) panels, they are now priced only 1.2-1.35 times more than Full HD panels, which may drop even further and prompt more sales in end markets. WitsView said it believes the penetration rate for 4K TVs will reach 5.5-6% in 2014.
Pricing for monitor and notebook panels in July 2014
Prices of LCD TV panels for 32 to 42 inches and semi-finished products will raise US$ 1 in July, while panels sized 46-, 48- and 50-inch will raise US$ 1-2. 55-inch panel pricing is expected to remain flat. Moreover, pricing for monitor panels sized 18.5W and 27W inches will remain flat while 19W and 19.5W inch units are expected to increase US$ 1-1.5. 20W panel pricing is expected to increase US$ 0.2-0.3 due to orders for 19.5W panels shifting to 20W units and becuase orders from vendors in the USA and Europe are increasing. Panels sized 21.5W, 23W, 23.6W and 24W inches are expected to increase US$ 0.5-1. In terms of notebook panels, 15.6-inch Wedge and Flat panels are expected to increase US$1-1.3 while 14-inch units are expected to increase US$0.4-0.6, and for 11.6-, 13.3- and 17.3-inch units are remaining flat.
Table 1: Panel pricing predictions for July, 2014