China’s major TV brands purchased more LCD TV panels than anticipated in August in expectation that Beijing’s NT$26.5-billion subsidy program for energy-saving TV sets would spur on demand during the Golden Week holiday that fell early this month, a market researcher said.
Haier Co (海爾), TCL Group Co and their Chinese peers bought 6.14 million units of LCD TV panels in August, up 20 percent from July’s 5.12 million units, NPD DisplaySearch said in its latest report released on Saturday.
The growth rate beat the 16 percent monthly growth forecast by the researcher.
“That is mainly because fueled by the government’s new subsidy program, which has led to a reduction of TV prices and a boost in TV sales,” NPD DisplaySearch said in the report.
Since mid-August, Chinese TV vendors have been increasing inventory which has risen to as long as eight weeks, the researcher said, adding that they felt confident that the continuation of the government’s policy would drive TV sales later this year.
As well as China’s top TV brands, smaller TV makers such as Beijing Orient Electronics Technology Group (京東方), Lenovo Group (聯想), Toshiba and TPV Technology Ltd (冠捷) were also beneficiaries of the new TV subsidy program, that was unveiled in early August, NPD DisplaySearh said.
Taiwan’s top panel maker Chimei Innolux Corp (奇美電子) last month maintained its long-term top position in supplying flat TV screens to Chinese TV vendors, shipping 1.7 million units to Chinese clients, according to the research house. That was a 13 percent expansion from July.
Chinese panel maker Shenzhen China Star Optoelectronics Technology Co (華星光電) ranked No. 2 for the first time, beating South Korea’s LG Display Corp. China Star shipped 1.05 million units.
Because of robust demand, prices for 32-inch, 42-inch and 46-inch TV flat panels climbed amid supply constraint, the researcher said.
Some TV panel makers raised unit prices by US$2 to US$3, or even more for those sizes of flat panels, NPD DisplaySearch said in a separate report released on Saturday.
“Supply tightness is continuing. Chinese TV makers in particular are still demanding panel allocation before results of October Golden Week holidays sales are known,” it said.
The risk was weaker-than-expected TV sales during the Golden holidays would drag panel demand later this year on inventory excess, the researcher said.
NPD DisplaySearch predicted that Chinese TV brands would place a smaller order of 5.97 million units of LCD TV panels in September and 5.84 million units this month.
Orders are expected to rebound next month to 6.54 million units and to 6.67 million units, because of inventory-driven demand before the Lunar New Year shopping season, it said.