According to TrendForce research, due to China's lockdowns and inventory adjustments by notebook brands, April notebook panel shipments totaled 17.5 million units, down 21.5% YoY, and a new low for shipments since April 2020 and the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, shipments of notebook panels in 2Q22 is estimated at 55.1 million units, down 21.2% QoQ and 19% YoY.
As the Russian-Ukrainian war directly affects Eastern Europe and, indeed, the entire European market, the supply of raw materials has destabilized and prices continued to soar, exacerbating inflation and pummeling the global economy. In addition, lockdowns and work suspensions caused by the recent pandemic outbreak in China and the government’s insistence on a dynamic zero-COVID policy may lead to complex problems such as reductions in factory production efficiency and logistical delays. TrendForce indicates, the uncertainty of current global political and economic circumstances have upset demand for three major display applications including TVs, LCD monitors, and notebooks, overshadowing 1H22 with pressure to correct expectations.
According to the latest TrendForce research, although factors such as panel and component mismatch and supply issues and the fading effects of the stay-at-home economy influenced shipments of e-sports LCD monitors (defined as refresh rates above 100Hz) in 2021, many brands targeted e-sports LCD monitors in 4Q21 with a strategy of aggressively reducing e-sports product pricing to prompt a volume surge and successfully boosted shipments of e-sports LCD monitors to 22.8 million units in 2021, with an annual growth rate of 24%. However, growth momentum will slow in 2022. In addition to long lead times, the most significant variable remains the impact of the Russian-Ukrainian war. If the war continues, it will impair European market demand and affect the shipment performance of e-sports-related products. In addition, the Russian-Ukrainian war has triggered a surge in the prices of crude oil, metal, and agricultural commodities, spiking previously growing inflationary pressure. Thus, TrendForce conservatively estimates shipments of e-sports LCD monitors at 26.1 million units in 2022, with an annual growth rate of 14%.
In 2021, notebook panel shipments reached a record high of 282 million units, with an annual growth rate of 25.1%, according to TrendForce’s research. In the first half of the year, demand was driven by the pandemic and primarily focused on consumer notebooks and Chromebooks while, in the second half of the year, as Europe and the United States gradually lifted lockdowns and work returned to normal, demand largely shifted to commercial models, which continued to support the demand for notebook panels throughout the year.
The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the U.S. Department of Commerce recently issued the latest Unverified List (UVL) which includes ChuZhou HKC Optoelectronics Technology Co., Ltd., according to TrendForce’s investigations. The announcement states that if U.S. suppliers wish to ship products to companies on the UVL, they can still submit documentation to obtain a shipping license. According to TrendForce’s understanding, the primary reason ChuZhou HKC is included on the UVL is that it plans to import panel-related analytical instruments from the United States in the near future, and actions taken by BIS are not indicative of the Chinese panel industry as a whole. Currently, ChuZhou HKC is in the process submitting proposals and negotiating with its U.S. material suppliers, thus TrendForce’s assessment is that there is no impact on the supply and shipment of ChuZhou HKC products for the time being.