TFT LCD shipments see April decline

Shipments of large-area TFT LCD panels in April were down six percent from March, while revenues were down four percent month-on-month according to the DisplaySearch Monthly TFT LCD Shipment Database.

Year-on-year, however, figures are positive. Compared to April 2009, shipments are up 34 percent while revenues are up 72 percent. Overall shipments for April this year were 53.9 million units.

The biggest blips over the last 16 months happened in October 2009 and February 2010, says the report, which were down to inventory adjustments in the PC industry and shorter working days respectively. DisplaySearch reckons that the figures for April could be a sign of downstream inventory adjustment and slowing markets in the notebook, TV and monitor sectors.

DisplaySearch predicted that Q2 2010 could become a panel price and inventory correction period for the TFT LCD industry. The noted decline in shipments and revenues supports this.

Vice president at DisplaySearch, David Hsieh, said it’s to be expected that the panel price in Q22010 will fall because of slowdown in demand. “However,” he said, “we do not think the price decline will be drastic, because several components are in tight supply.”

“It is also possible that panel makers will adjust utilisation before they reduce prices – global economic conditions support a strong demand year.”

LG had the lion’s share of the market with unit shipments, taking 23.4 percent of all units. Samsung came in second with 21.5 percent, followed by Chimei Innolux with 18.5 percent and AUO with 19.9 percent.

Samsung won out on TFT LCD revenues, taking 26.5 percent of the market share. It seems the big battle is between Samsung and LG, as the latter followed Samsung closely with a revenue share of 23.7 percent. Chimei Innolux took away 15.8 percent and AUO was closely behind with 15.7 percent.