Shipments of large-sized liquid-crystal display (LCD) panels for the global television market fell 5 percent in April with the advent of the slow second-quarter season, according to the "LCD Panel Supply Chain Tracker - TVs - World" report from information and analytics provider IHS.
Worldwide TV panel purchases by television brands amounted to 19.3 million pieces in April, down from 20.4 million pieces in March.
The purchasing of TV panels from global brands declined at the onset of the second quarter, affected in part by the uncertain future of the government subsidy program in China for TV purchases. Beijing announced the termination of the subsidy program in May, which had been in effect to encourage consumers to upgrade to new television sets and help Chinese manufacturers. Elsewhere, the world market for televisions was also anemic during the period as new TV models were not yet in the pipeline, contributing to the overall weak state of demand.
Among panel buyers, Toshiba of Japan cut back its panel purchases the most during the month with a 44 percent reduction. Other brands that bought significantly fewer panels in April included U.S.-based Vizio and China's TCL and Haier; all three had monthly declines of more than 20 percent. A third group of buyers-Samsung of South Korea, Sharp of Japan and Hisense of China-had single-digit decreases in their panel purchases.
The losses were countered by a few gainers, including Sanyo and Sony of Japan, Skyworth and Changhong of China, Philips of the Netherlands, and LG Electronics of South Korea. Sony, in particular, with a strong 12 percent uptick in TV panel buys, increased its purchase of panels from AUO of Taiwan by 79 percent and from LG Display of South Korea by 51 percent during the period, with intentions to continue increasing those numbers throughout the year. The Japanese maker, however, cut the amount of TV panels it obtained from Samsung to 47 percent of its total in April, down from 73 percent in February.
For its part, LG Electronics-up 1 percent in its purchases-has begun to buy panels from China's CSOT and BOE, primarily in the 32-inch size.
Among panel makers, Panasonic Liquid Crystal Display of Japan suffered the largest reduction in shipments, down 38 percent for the month. CEC of China was not far behind with a 34 percent loss, followed by BOE of China at 13 percent and AUO at 8 percent. There were no gainers among panel manufacturers during April, but the smallest shipment declines to clients were posted by Samsung and CSOT, both down by just 1 percent. The rest of the manufacturers-including the likes of Innolux from Taiwan, Sharp and LG Display-were down by 4 to 5 percent on average.
CSOT, which suffered the least disruption along with Samsung, saw its panel shipments to global brands increase 25 percent during the period, outside of business with domestic Chinese TV brands. Last year, Samsung was the only international TV brand that bought panels from CSOT, but that roster has since grown to include other world-recognized names such as LG Electronics.
Read more >> Sluggish TV Sales Hinder LCD TV Panel Demand