According to the latest investigations by TrendForce’s Department of Display Research, the market demand for display panels has been surging in recent months. In particular, after the 2Q20 period of sluggish purchasing momentum as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the TV panel market has seen its demand rebound quickly, in turn resulting in a higher-than-expected spike in TV panel quotes in July. Other than 75-inch panels, prices for all sizes of TV panels are likely to go into a noticeable uptrend in July, with a projected 8-10% MoM increase in 32-inch and 55-inch panels. Prices for 43-inch, 50-inch, and 65-inch panels, which are panel sizes with equally strong demand momentum, are expected to see average hikes of 6-8%, resulting in a rarely seen bull market for the display panel industry in recent years.
TrendForce Research Vice President Eric Chiou indicates that, given the overall growth in the panel market, the price differences that exist among the different panel suppliers and purchasers are worth investigating. First, the differences in panel quotes from panel suppliers exist mainly due to the supply dominance of BOE and TCL CSOT, following Korean manufacturers’ exit from the LCD manufacturing business. BOE and TCL CSOT now hold increased influence over panel prices, including the magnitude of price hikes. With regards to the purchasing end, more specifically the four major brands including Samsung, LGE, TCL, and Hisense, Chinese brands are far more ambitious than their Korean counterparts in expanding market share overseas and therefore exhibit much higher stock-up demand. As such, Chinese brands are more accepting of rising panel prices relative to their competitors. Given the return of consumer confidence, as well as the TV brands’ sales promotions following the pandemic’s gradual slowdown, the demand for TV panels is likely to remain strong in 3Q20, but the large-scale price hikes in panel quotes will lead to decreased profitability for TV brands, in turn potentially becoming the greatest impediment against the sustained rise in panel prices in the future.
According to TrendForce, although the demand for IT panels is not as strong as TV panel demand, the IT panel market is expected to seek highpoints amidst a consistent performance. The notebook computer market has benefitted from increased WFH and distance education applications since the onset of COVID-19. As the school season commences and consumer confidence returns in 3Q20, the overall demand for notebook computers is expected to remain strong, in turn leading to a potential 1-2% increase in notebook panel prices in July. Finally, although some rumors have surfaced in the monitor panel industry regarding demand adjustments, quotes for monitor panels this month are expected to trend flat from last month, supported by manufacturers’ production capacity for TV panels.