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TV panel production will fall in 2016

2016 is a ‘quadrennial year’ when a combination of the Olympic Games, UEFA European championships and the US elections come together to drive TV display sales to record volumes. But this does not look like happening in 2016 if forecasts from IHS (and its Display Long-Term Demand Forecast Tracker’) are a guide.

2015 started out with buoyant forecasts , which according to Large Display Monitor (LDM) saw set manufacturers suffer panel shortages at the beginning of the year.  This resulted in a rise in panel prices through the first half of 2015, driven by TV panel demand. Shipments of these units also reached a record high of 136 million units: an 11 per cent YoY increase.  However, from the end of Q2 the market began to change. Weak demand from emerging markets was driven by the strong dollar; concerns over TV panel inventory; and shrinking IT product demand. The price of a 32″ Full HD open-cell fell from $95 in early 2015, to $65 in September,” states LDM.

IHS’ newly-released ‘Display Long-Term Demand Forecast Tracker’ predicts that the TV panel industry will fall next year, for the first time ever. Shipments are predicted to decline 3 per cent YoY, to 257 million units. The TV industry represents about 70 per cent of the entire display market in terms of area. In addition – as seen as in recent market fluctuations influenced by the strengthening dollar – the display market is increasingly being affected by external economic factors.

Also not helping is the economic downturn being suffered by some major markets, not least Russia and China, but also Brazil. These, normally strong markets for electronics, are also seeing falling GDP and weak local currencies when compared to the US dollar.

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