According to the latest large-size panel report by WitsView, a division of TrendForce, TV panel shipments totaled 22.93 million units in October, down 6.3% from September but up 6.4% from a year ago. “Stocking up for year-end sales was winding up in October,” said WitsView analyst Iris Hu. “As result, monthly TV panel shipments declined more than 5%, a first in the past six months. Brand vendors have become more careful in panel procurement and inventory management towards the end of the year.”
WitsView expects quarterly TV panel shipments to fall nearly 1% in this fourth quarter because panel makers intend to maintain their utilization rates. The annual shipments will total near 270 million units. As panel suppliers are not cutting their production, panel prices will continue to fall. There are signs that the price decline of large-size panels are enlarging. Based on the above reasons, the fourth-quarter profit outlook for panel suppliers is pessimistic.
BOE’s 32-inch shipments increased significantly by 14%
Looking at October’s TV panel shipments from Taiwanese panel makers, Innolux’s performance was relatively impressive. Although Innolux suffered from a huge cut in 23.6-inch panel orders from Samsung Electronics Company (SEC), Mexico’s procurement timely made up this shipment gap. Compared with September, Innolux’s shipments declined by only 1% in October, totaling 4.7 million units. The supplier maintained a relatively high shipment level. AU Optronics (AUO) was affected by brand vendors finishing stocking up for the year-end sales, so the panel maker’s monthly shipments fell 5.1% in October.
South Korean panel maker Samsung Display (SDC) suffered a near 20% decrease in TV panel shipments for October because SEC reduced orders to the panel supplier for strategic reasons. As for the other South Korean panel maker, LG Display (LGD), its monthly shipments declined 10.2% in October as brand vendors finished stocking up for the season. WitsView, however, expects that LGD’s shipments will recover to their monthly average of 4.6~4.7 million units by the end of the year, when brand vendors will stock up for the Chinese New Year (in February) and the launch of their new models.
As for Chinese panel makers, China Star Optoelectronics Technology (CSOT) saw a big boost in its October TV panel shipments, which reached 2.5 million units. CSOT was ranked No. 5 in market share because the production operation its new Gen-8.5 fab has become more efficient this year. Moreover, its 32-inch TV panel output has also recovered. For BOE Technology Group (BOE), its October TV panel shipments did not drop and were maintained at 3.5 million units. Above all, BOE’s 32-inch shipments saw a monthly growth of 14% despite the downtrend in panel prices. On the whole, TV panel shipments from Chinese suppliers will keep increasing in face of the difficult market situation because the Chinese government will continue to financially support them.