Global shipments of large TFT LCD panels rose again in 2018 despite concerns of over-supply in the market. In particular, area shipments increased by 10.6 percent to 197.9 million square meters compared to the previous year, driven by TV and monitor panels, according to IHS Markit.
Fierce price competition in large 65-inch and 75-inch display panels was ignited as Chinese panel maker BOE started the mass production of the panels in 2018 at its B9 10.5G facility. With BOE operating the 10.5G line, panel makers have become more aggressive on pricing since early 2018 to digest their capacity. Large panels are still more profitable than smaller ones.
Rising demand for gaming-PC and professional-purpose monitors boosted shipment of high-end, large panels. Some panel makers have allocated more monitor panels to the fab, replacing existing TV panels, to make up for the poor performance of that business.
LGD led the area shipment of large display panels, with a 21 percent share in 2018, followed by BOE with 17 percent and SDC with 16 percent. BOE boasted the largest unit-shipment share of 23 percent, followed by LGD with 20 percent and Innolux with 17 percent. Large TFT LCD panel shipment growth is expected to continue in 2019.
The preliminary forecast for unit shipments of three major products indicates that panel makers will continue to focus on the monitor and notebook PC panel businesses, increasing shipments by 5.3 percent and 6.6 percent, respectively, over the year, while shipments of TV panels are forecasted to grow just 2.6 percent.
In 2019, three new 10.5G fabs, ChinaStar’s T6, BOE’s second fab, and Foxconn/Sharp’s Guangzhou line, are expected to start mass production. All of them are assigned to manufacture TV panels, further boosting TV panel supply.
As the TV panel business is predicted to remain tough, panel makers who enjoyed relatively better outcomes with monitor and notebook PC panels in 2018, will likely focus on the IT panel businesses.―TV Veopar Journal Bureau