Global large panel shipments buoyed by demand for TVs

Large panel shipments continued to grow last month, in part driven by strong demand for large-sized LCD televisions, the research consultancy WitsView said on Friday.

A total of 69.07 million large panels (32-inches or above) were shipped worldwide last month, up 9.8 percent from July and up 15 percent from a year ago, the Taipei-based researcher said in a report.

The rise was fueled in part by China’s ongoing subsidy policy for energy-saving products, including televisions. In addition, with the peak promotional period of the Mid-Autumn Festival (Sept. 30) and China’s National Day (Oct. 1) fast approaching, brand vendors aggressively boosted purchases and lifted panel shipments to 20.66 million units, an increase of 12 percent from July.

The response to the subsidy program is likely to push the average TV panel size to 36.5 inches this year, after edging higher from 33.6 inches and 34.5 inches from 2009 to last year, WitsView said.

This trend toward bigger panel sizes should significantly help digest the current surplus in global LCD panel production capacity, the researcher said.

Meanwhile, affected by larger inventory restocking from downstream brand vendors, shipments of monitor panels, which are also considered “large panels,” totaled 15.33 million units last month, up 13 percent from a month ago, WitsView said.

Shipments of large notebook panels, considered to be those above 12.1 inches, were lifted by Windows 8 pre-launch demand to 18.47 million units last month, up 11.7 percent from July, while shipments of large tablet panels (7 to 10 inch models) increased 8.3 percent to 12.33 million units, WitsView said.

Looking to this month, WitsView predicted that overall large panel shipments will be relatively flat, with growth ranging from 0-1 percent amid inventory adjustments by brand name vendors.

Only tablet panels will show double-digit growth, while other applications will experience slower or negative growth, the researcher said.