Panel shipments set to rise

Staff writer, with CNA

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 - Page 13

Global shipments of larger flat panels are expected to stage a rebound this month, mainly due to an increase in demand from China on the back of buyers’ restocking, a research report said on Saturday.

In the report, WitsView, a flat-screen research division of TrendForce Corp (集邦科技), said Chinese buyers have been boosting their inventories in a bid to meet a buying spree expected over the upcoming May 1 Labor Day holiday.

Jeffery Chen (陳建甫) an analyst with WitsView, said restocking of ultra high-definition panels is on the increase in China, while the launch of new models by international brands is also boosting demand for TV panels.

Chen said that worldwide TV panel shipments this month are expected to grow by up to 22 percent from last month.

WitsView said that shipments of monitors for desktop PCs this month are likely to grow by between 16 percent and 17 percent from last month, as some manufacturers have started to boost production.

Taiwan-based AU Optronics Corp (友達光電), in particular, has begun mass production of 19.5-inch monitors, paving the way for an increase in overall monitor shipments, WitsView said.

As for panels for notebooks and tablets, shipments this month are expected to grow 21 percent and 12 percent respectively from last month on rising demand, the research institute said.

The upbeat assessments are contrary to a decline recorded last month, in which the Lunar New Year holiday cut short the number of working days, WitsView said.

Last month, shipments of larger panels fell 1.8 percent from a month earlier to 58.6 million units, the research report said.

WitsView said the month-on-month decline in shipments was also the result of slow season effects, which prompted buyers to reduce their inventories.

Last month, TV panel shipments fell 10.9 percent from January to 16.60 million units, but stayed little changed from a year earlier, while shipments of PC monitors were 12.02 million units, down 4.9 percent from a month earlier, and down 22 percent from a year earlier, WitsView said.

However, shipments of notebook panels for last month rose 7.6 percent from a month earlier to 13.58 million units, largely due to a low comparison base in January, when demand for the screens fell to a recent low.

Shipments of tablet screens for last month rose 4.1 percent from January to 16.39 million units after demand for 9.7-inch tablets staged a rebound, WitsView said.