First ever quarter-to-quarter dip in LCD TV panel shipments

Editor | 05-10-2013

In what is said to be for the first time ever, the global LCD TV panel market suffered a quarter on quarter fall in shipments for Q3 2013, according to a new LCD Market Tracker report from HIS.

And making this unprecedented event more worrying, said the analyst, was that it happened in what is normally a strong period of the year.

In a preliminary estimate IHS calculated that worldwide LCD TV panel shipments during the third quarter of 2013 amounted to 58.0 million units, down from 58.8 million in the second quarter. In the quarter 12 months earlier, shipments totalled 60.0 million, up markedly from 54.5 million during Q2 2012.

“LCD TV panel shipments went through a soft period in the third quarter,” revealed Ricky Park, senior manager for large-area displays at IHS. “The downshifting of the market comes as a surprise because the third quarter is usually a time when things start heating up, in preparation for the furious upcoming fourth-quarter selling season. However, consumers have not been buying as many new television sets as originally hoped, leaving TV brands with panels that they haven’t been able to move.”

The survey also revealed that stockpiles held by brands have been aggravated in particular by the large panel shipments made to them by LCD TV panel makers during the first half of the year. It noted that the weak third-quarter numbers will be especially hard on panel makers that serve Chinese TV brands. IHS observed that TV sales in China have been on the decline since the end of the second quarter, and does not expect sales to improve much despite the upcoming China National Day in October.

Overall, IHS regards panel suppliers whose main customers are outside China as set to enjoy relatively better prospects than panel makers whose main clientele are the Chinese. It cited Samsung Display and Japan’s Sharp, with the lowest percentage of Chinese TV brands as customers, who it thinks will see their share of the LCD TV panel market enlarge in the third quarter.