Recent observations by market intelligence firm TrendForce suggests that the ongoing expansion of the US semiconductor trade restrictions against China could eventually spread to the display panel industry. Agencies within the US government are taking notice of China’s certain advantages in the development of display technologies and build-up of panel production capacity. However, the US will unlikely attempt to directly impose control over panel supply with new trade restrictions in the short term. On the other hand, the upstream portion of the supply chain, especially the sections concerning driver ICs and other related semiconductor chips, are starting to react to the tightening of the US sanctions against Chinese semiconductor companies. Furthermore, some electronics OEMs have recently been re-examining their panel supply chains to evaluate the sourcing of semiconductor components. While OEMs have yet to explicitly ban the use of panel-related chips from Chinese suppliers, they are actively developing backup plans that would seek alternative supply sources in case the US further broadens the scope its technology export rules on Chinese companies.
In this press release, TrendForce details 10 major trends that are expected to take place across various segments in the tech industry, as follows:
TrendForce indicates, overall utilization rate of LCD large generational fabs of Gen.5 and above (in terms of wafer starts) slipping to 60% in 4Q22 cannot be ruled out, which would be the lowest level in the past ten years. Sluggish panel demand and the fact that most panel makers have officially turned from profit to loss in 2Q22 are the key factors forcing panel makers to take a more rigorous approach to production control in 2H22.
According to TrendForce's latest panel price report, TV panel pricing is expected to arrest its fall in October after five consecutive quarters of decline and the prices of certain panel sizes may even be poised to move up. The price decline of IT panels, whether notebook panels or LCD monitor panels, has also begun showing signs of easing and overall pricing of large-size panels is developing towards bottoming out.
According to the latest TrendForce research, shipments of gaming monitors are in decline for the first time since the product category was launched to market, with 2022 estimates lowered to 20.5 million units, a 10% drop YoY. The primary reasons for this downgrade are intensifying inflation in Europe and spiking interest rates in North America which have upset and displaced demand for consumer electronics products. In addition, delays in launching high-end graphics cards has also led some e-sports consumers to consider postponing purchases.