Thu, Jul 15, 2010 - Page 12 News List

TV and computer panel shipments surge to new highs

By Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Global shipments of computer and television LCD panels surged to a historical high last quarter on the back of unusual inventory buildup from PC and TV makers for the traditional shopping season this quarter, a Taipei-based market research firm said yesterday.

Based on their upbeat third-quarter outlook, electronics makers have built up higher stocks in the second quarter as firms were concerned that a potential component shortage in the second half of the year would limit panel supply, as happened in the first quarter, TrendForce Corp’s (集邦科技) LCD research team, called WitsView, said in a report.

Shipments of PC and TV LCD panels edged down by 3.2 percent last month to 54.02 million from 55.8 million units in May, and this brought overall shipments up 9 percent to 161 million units in the conventionally slack second quarter, the report said.

The unusual growth fueled concerns for third-quarter prospects as recent end-demand for electronics did not match the shipment increase, which could lead to excessive inventory and weaker panel prices, WitsView said.

The researcher said it would cautiously watch whether flatpanel makers would try to buoy panel prices, and shipments by limiting output and adjusting downward the equipment loading rate to raise panel prices and shipments in the current quarter, WitsView said.

AU Optronics Corp (友達光電), the nation’s No. 2 flat-panel maker, has said its second-quarter shipments of PC and TV panels increased 8.8 percent quarter-on-quarter.

Last month, the shipment rate of flat panels used in netbook laptops dropped the fastest at 20 percent month-on-month to 3.2 million units, indicating that the consumer appetite for netbooks is weakening after new tablet PCs, which have better computing performance, hit the market, the report said.

TV panels were the only growth area, with shipments rising 0.9 percent to 16.94 million units last month from 16.78 million units in May, the report said.

Shares of AU Optronics and its rival Chimei Innoux Corp (奇美電子) gained 1.63 percent and 0.55 percent to NT$37.15 and NT$36.55 respectively, yesterday. The benchmark TAIEX leapt 1.54 percent.

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