TFT LCD panel shipment see record results in November

Shipments of large-area TFT LCD panels saw record results in November, surpassing the previous record set back in May 2010.  There were 61.4 million units shipped in November, an increase of six percent month on month from October, amounting to a total of $6.9 billion in revenue.

The results also showed significant improvement over those of last year, with shipments and revenues increasing by 19 percent and five percent respectively, year on year.

According to David Hsieh, vice president of DisplaySearch, the industry has recovered after a six month dip in large-area TFT LCD panel shipments. “Key indicators have improved. Inventory levels are falling, panel prices are stabilising and shipments are increasing gradually,” he said.

Hsieh added that peak shipment levels usually occur in September or October, and this is the first time that the industry has witnessed a peak in November.

It is thought that this is a result of downstream players becoming more confident in their ability to manage inventories after the hot seasonal promotions, Hsieh says, while new applications like slate PC are driving the growth of some segments.

The report shows that all large-area TFT LCD applications showed strong growth from the previous month, with LCD monitor panels showing the strongest growth at 14 percent month on month.

Table 1: Large-Area TFT LCD Panel Shipments and Growth (Millions of Units)

 

Nov 09

Oct 10

Nov 10

M/M

Y/Y

Notebook PC & Slate

18.5

20.3

22.1

9%

19%

Monitor

16.3

16.1

18.3

14%

12%

TV

16.1

18.9

20.1

6%

25%

Other

0.8

1.0

1.0

11%

25%

L/A Total

51.7

56.2

61.4

9%

19%

Source: DisplaySearch December 2010 Monthly TFT LCD Shipment Database

It is thought that notebook and monitor panel prices stabilised last month, and prices for some sizes in tight supply have rebounded.

Hsieh also believes that LCD TV panel prices will stop falling next quarter and possibly rebound. “Panel makers’ utilisation rates, TV panel prices, and low inventory levels are indications of a rebound,” Hsieh says.

LCD TV manufacturers and OEMs are now believed to be starting to move forward with their 2011 business plans, which are leading them to begin to place orders with panel makers.

In the short term, the report shows that the reduced working days during the holiday period of the upcoming Chinese New Year will lead to some brands refilling their inventories sooner

Hsieh added, “The recent sell-through results in China and North America served to clear out some inventories. This could be a positive factor for panel price stabilisation in the next quarter as some brands and OEMs increase their demand forecast.“

On a unit basis, LG Display was the leader with 27.5 percent market share, followed by Samsung with 23.5 percent, Chimei Innolux with 17.8 percent, and AUO with 15.8 percent.

On a revenue basis, Samsung led with a 25.5 percent market share, followed by LG Display with 25.3 percent, AUO with 16.4 percent, and Chimei Innolux with 14.3 percent.

On an area basis, LG Display led with a 27.4 percent market share, followed by Samsung with 24.5 percent, Chimei Innolux with 16.5 percent, and AUO with 15.5 percent.

All panel makers enjoyed month on month growth, with the exception of Hydis, Sharp, Tianma, and Toshiba. Meanwhile, BOE has the highest month on month growth rate of over 70 percent. Chimei Innolux has over 30 percent month growth. Companies like InfoVision and HannStar also enjoyed double-digit month growth.

Slate/mini-note (5.0-11.6”) panel shipments were seven million in November, maintaining the high level set in October. Within the 7 million, 9.7” iPad panel shipments were 2.8 million.