Austin, Texas - Global shipments of large-area TFT LCD panels declined 6 percent in April, but showed significant growth compared to the same month last year.
monthly TFT LCD Shipment Database global large-area TFT LCD panel shipments for April were 53.9 million units, on $7.1 billion in revenue, which was down 4 percent from March.
Despite the month-to-month declines, April larger area LCD panel shipments were up 34 percent in units from the and up 72 percent in revenue from the same time last year, DisplaySearch said.
Large-area TFT LCD shipments have consecutively grown for the past 16 months, except in October 2009 and February 2010, when overall LCD panel sales dipped.
The October decline was due to inventory adjustments by PC and IT brands, while the February decline was due to the shorter working days during the Chinese New Year holiday.
DisplaySearch speculated the month-to-month April shipment and revenue declines were a sign of downstream inventory adjustment and end-market demand slowdown in the notebook PC, monitor and TV sectors.
According to David Hsieh, DisplaySearch VP, "The April results indicate that TFT LCD might be entering a panel price and inventory correction period in Q2'10 as we previously forecasted. While there were slowdowns in the notebook and monitor sectors, TV panel shipments remained the same as the previous month. Although the TV panel demand in China is declining due to inventory adjustments, demand is still healthy from the global TV brands."
Hsieh added, "It is to be expected that the panel price will fall gradually in Q2'10 due to the slowdown in demand.
However, we do not think the price decline will be drastic, because several components are in tight supply. It is also possible that panel makers will adjust their utilization before they reduce prices. Global economic conditions still support a strong demand year, so we remain optimistic for the second half of the year."
In other LCD panel highlights from April, LG Display was the unit shipments leader with 23.4 percent market share, followed by Samsung with 21.5 percent, Chimei Innolux with 18.5 percent, and AUO with 17.9 percent.
On a revenue basis, Samsung was the leader with 26.5 percent market share, followed by LG Display with 23.7 percent, Chimei Innolux with 15.8 percent, and AUO with 15.7 percent.
LCD shipments for portable PCs (including notebook and mini-note) and for monitors showed month-to-month declines as overall TV panel shipments remained flat.
Among the 18 large-area TFT LCD companies reported, all experienced a monthly decline in April except BOE, Sharp, HannStar, IPS Alpha and Tianma (the former SVA NEC).
Large-area TFT LCD shipments reached 8.1 million square meters in April, down 4 percent M/M, but up 45 percent year to year.
Mini-note (5.0-11.6 inches, including 9.7 inches) panel shipments were 4.0 million in April, slightly down from March.