The latest panel price report from WitsView, a division of TrendForce, finds the IT panel market will remain gloomy towards the end of the second quarter. Though the traditional peak season for monitors and notebooks is approaching, unresolved inventory issues and uncertain prospects still hang over the IT panel market.
The TV panel market also shows noticeable weakness after a period of steady growth as the market drive gradually dissipates due to lack of encouraging news. Recently, branded TV vendors have faced one challenge after the next, with declining margins being the most serious. Vendors have had to revise their yearly shipment targets as a result. Furthermore, the excessive amount of panels purchased during the first half of the year are causing the inventories of both TV panels and TV sets to rise. According to WitsView’s Senior Director Eric Chiou, these issues will not immediately affect branded TV vendors’ demands, so the adjustments in their panel purchases will be minor in the short term. Nonetheless, panel makers are encountering widespread calls from TV vendors to share the hardship together and cut prices. With demands not being as strong as before, the outlook for the TV panel market has therefore changed from cautiously optimistic to fairly conservative.
WitsView’s survey of quote prices for different sized TV panels reports that the 32-inch has seen a relatively sharper price decline in June, with the average drop-off around US$2~$4. The Korean panel makers have slashed prices for their 32-inch panels, prompting their Chinese competitors BOE and CSOT to do the same and exacerbating the downward price trend. Prices for the 48- and 49-inch also starts to weaken whether they belong to Full HD or UHD categories due to the overall expansion of the Gen 8.5 capacity. Their average price drop-off in June has been around US$2~$3. The quote prices for the 50-inch Full HD panels follow suit and have fallen by US$1~$2 in order to stay competitive. The quote prices for the 39.5-, 40-, 42- and 43-inch have remained stable in June. However, some products within these segments have base prices that are too high or are priced out of the usual range, and this in turn has created room for further negotiations.
The market for monitor products have been depressed for a while. Based on the latest WitsView data, monitors saw a significant shipment decline in the first quarter, and this along with poor expectations for second and third quarter shipments have hurt quote prices of monitor panels. Monitor shipments fell by 10.7% quarterly for the first quarter. However, the second quarter shipments is expected to edge up slightly by 0.9%. WitsView has also revised the third quarter shipments downward from the optimistic 8%~9% quarterly growth to 4%~6%. Overall, prices of monitor panels across all sizes have dropped by US$1.5~$2 in June. The 27-inch sees greater room for negotiations due to promotional efforts by panel makers. As for the 21.5-inch, the monitor vendors are scaling back their demands as they are having excess inventory. The price decrease for both the 27- and 21.5-inch is around US$1.5~$2. Demands are also slowing down for smaller-size monitor panels, and the prices of 18.5- and 19.5 inch have fallen by US$1.5. On the other hand, demands have been stable for panels sized 23, 23.6 and 23.8 inches. Their price reduction during June is thus limited within US$1.5.
As for the notebook market, there is no sign of stocking up for the back-to-school sales, nor has Windows 10 generated additional demands. Getting rid of inventories carried over from the previous period seems to be the primary concern among vendors right now. For notebook panels of mainstream sizes (including 15.6-, 14- and 11.6-inch), vendors in general have 8~9 weeks’ worth of inventory accumulated between the end of the first quarter and the end of the second. The overstock situation has actually grown worse, causing a downward price trend for all notebook panels in June. The 15.6-, 14- and 11.6- inch have suffered the hardest fall, dropping by US$0.8~$1.2. The 13.3- and 12.5 inch by contrast have had a mild price decrease of US$0.3~$0.4 because they tend to be configure-to-order products.
Please visit WitsView’s website at www.witsview.com to get the latest information on price quotes for display panels.