Chinese panel makers surge in large LCD TV sector

Numbers up. Market flooded. Prices down.

by Andy Bassett May 1, 2019 at 2:30 PM

  • TV News


    Chinese panel makers surge in large LCD TV sector
    Growth of nearly 10x over the last year has pushed Chinese TFT panel manufacturers to the near the top of the pile in the large LCD sector.
    As reported by IHS Markit, accelerating production of thin film transistor (TFT) liquid crystal display (LCD) panels by Chinese panel manufacturers has accounted for 33.9 percent of shipments of 60-inch plus displays in Q1 of 2019. This is up from 3.6 percent a year ago.

    IHS Markit’s Large Area Display Market Tracker provides information on panels over 9-inches to assess revenues, shipments and applications. Analysing the latest updates to the Tracker, it’s expected that Chinese manufacturers’ market share will continue to grow.

    Overall, the shipment of units exceeding 9-inches reached 178.3 million in Q1, down 1 percent on Q1 2018 but when measured by area rather than unit numbers, the shipment increased by 6.7 percent to 49.1 million square meters during the same period.

    For the time being though, South Korean companies still make up the largest share of the 60-inch plus LCD TV market with a 45.1 percent share during Q1. The remaining shipments were mostly made up from Taiwanese and Japanese panel makers.

    By panel area produced, LG Display just edged it over BOE with a 20 percent share versus a 19.9 percent share respectively.

    The speed of the increase in shipments by Chinese producers has taken some analysts by surprise since there was an expected ‘learning curve’ as some of the newer manufacturing plants came online.

    Robin Wu, principal analyst at IHS Markit, said, “When BOE’s B9 10.5G fab started its mass production in the first quarter of 2018, the industry expected that its full ramp-up would take quite a time due to a learning curve. ” He added, “However, it did not take as long and BOE has become the largest supplier of 60-inch and larger LCD TV panels since the end of 2018.”

    BOE accounted for 29% of the total of 60-inch and larger LCD TV panels shipments in Q1 of 2019 but its B9 10.5 fab may have reached its expected capacity of 120K sheets per quarter. Other Chinese companies such as ChinaStar, CEC-Panda and CHOT are contributing too and Foxconn/Sharp have yet to commence production at their Guangzhou 10.5G fab, though that is expected in the second half of 2019.

    This surge in production by the Chinese manufacturers is backed by generous government support and has contributed to a glut of overproduction, hitting the profits of competing producers as well as those of TV manufacturers as prices of LCDs tumble. Samsung announced Q1 losses due to this only recently.

    As both Chinese and South Korean panel suppliers are focusing on large LCD TV panels, competition between them will become more intense, pressuring the price of large LCD TV panels even further throughout 2019,” Wu said.

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