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Large LCD panel shipments down 16.8% in Jan

WitsView, a division of TrendForce, reports that large-size LCD panel shipments for this January totalled 57.47 million units, down 16.8 per cent from a month ago. Most panel makers posted declining results, but Panasonic LCD and Sharp were able to grow their shipments against market headwinds because they had shorter base periods.

“Looking at February, large-size panel shipments have been scaled back because of the Chinese New Year holidays that resulted in fewer work days during the month,” said Iris Hu, research manager for WitsView. “The earthquake that struck southern Taiwan on the 6th also disrupted the operation of Innolux’s fabs. Hence, the total monthly shipments will drop by about 3 per cent from January.”

Hu added that demand remains weak in all applications. TV panel shipments are expected to fall by 5~6 per cent monthly in February, while notebook and tablet applications will respectively register shipment declines of 3~4 per cent. The overall inventory level of monitor panels has been low versus other applications, so monitor panel shipments in February are expected to hold steady.

Seasonal influences and inventory adjustments caused shipment decline for all applications in January

TV panel shipments for January totalled 19.59 million units, down 13.8 per cent from the prior month. Innolux and CEC-Panda suffered the largest monthly declines in their TV panel shipments, respectively by 22.3 per cent and 42 per cent. Innolux’s poor performance was due to the absence of 23.6-inch TV panel orders from the Mexican government, while CEC-Panda pulled back their TV panel shipments to minimise the profit loss resulted from price competition and having an inadequate product strategy.

Monitor panel shipments for January fell to 10.18 million units, representing a monthly drop of 17.5 per cent. However, Chinese panel maker BOE Technology (BOE) limited the decline for this application to 2.1 per cent and became the No. 2 monitor panel supplier worldwide for the first time, overtaking Taiwanese competitors AU Optronics (AUO) and Innolux. BOE’s success was attributed to its aggressive pricing and extensive product line-up.

January’s shipments of notebook panels arrived at just 11.97 million units, down 19.8 per cent compared with December. On the other hand, AUO grew its notebook panel shipments by 2.2 per cent against the market headwinds by raising the share of twisted nematic (TN), FHD products for this application. The Taiwanese panel maker was also able to take advantage of its close relations with long-term clients Acer and ASUS.

Seasonal effects caused monthly tablet panel shipments to fall 17.7 per cent to 15.73 million units in January. Innolux’s monthly decline was over 40 per cent due to the panel maker’s decision to reduce shipments to the white-box tablet market. Sharp by contrast registered a massive 47.1 per cent monthly growth in its tablet panel shipments as the Japanese panel maker continued to supply the panel of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro to Apple.

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