The newest panel price report from WitsView, a division of TrendForce, shows the TV market outlook for the upcoming second quarter is optimistic, but there are some jitters as well. A positive indicator is that as the market enters the second quarter, new product models will be launched, and retailers are expected to stock up, initiating a wave of demands. The Chinese Labor Day sales in May also encourage an upbeat attitude. Additionally, a new subsidy program for energy-efficient appliances is also under discussion, with the potential of triggering a wave of replacement demand. On the other hand, some TV brand vendors have become conservative in their decision-making and begun to reduce the scales of their panel purchases. Furthermore, the depreciation of Euros and currencies from the emerging markets continues to affect vendors’ margins, and this in turn hurt TV sales and the demands for panels.
“The prices of large-size TV panels such as the 55 and 65-inch have kept falling in March,” says WitsView’s Senior Research Director Eric Chiou, “the price of the 32-inch has also certainly experienced a drop in the range of US$1~2 because the supply-demand inversion has put an enormous price-reduction pressure on this size category.” The quotes for the 48 and 49-inch panels have yet to see a general reduction, but noises in price dealing are increasing in China and other regional markets. Panel demands from the 40 to 43-inch sizes have not been visibly affected, so their prices all together have remained steady in March. The future developments in the TV panel market for the second quarter will depend on whether there will be changes in quotes for sizes 39.5, 40, 43, and 50-inch.
Weak demands still afflict monitor panels. In the first quarter, monitor vendors might see a significant decline in their shipments by around 8.5%. A bounce-back recovery is expected in the second quarter but it will be a miniscule 0.8%. Monitor panel prices are hurt by weak demands and high level of panel inventory. Also, the promotions of large-size, wide-viewing angle, and other new monitor products have achieved limited results in the market. According to WitsView, the prices for monitor panels in March will keep falling by US$0.5~0.7. Sizes with large inventory level, such as the 21.5-inch, will have an even bigger drop-off range of US$0.7~0.8.
As for notebook panels, WitsView anticipates a decline of nearly 18% in the first quarter in shipments. Brand vendors furthermore are not having strong willingness to introduce many new machines in the second quarter. Notebook panel shipments from American brands are slowly returning to positive results, while the outlooks for the shipments of Asian brands are becoming more cautious. The notebook shipments in the second quarter is estimated to grow slightly around 5~6%. WitsView’s March price report for notebook panels states that the price drop-off range for mainstream sizes will mostly be around US$0.5~0.7.