2018 large-panel TFT LCD market defies market concerns | 4K/UltraHD | News | Rapid TV News
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Global shipments of large thin-film transistor (TFT) liquid crystal display (LCD) panels rose again in 2018 despite concerns of over-supply in the market and area shipments rising noticeably says a study from IHS Markit.

IHSMarkit 24Jan2019The study calculates that area shipments increased by 10.6% to 197.9 million square metres compared with the previous year, driven by TV and monitor panels. Large TFT-LCD panel shipments for the TV industry grew 10.9% year-on-year to total 154.7 million square metres. TV panel unit shipments grew 9.88% annually to 288.8 million.

IHS Markit also found that the current fierce price competition in large 65- and 75-inch display panels was ignited as Chinese panel maker BOE started the mass production of the panels in 2018 at its B9 10.5-generation facility. But, said Robin Wu, principal analyst at IHS Markit, as some panel makers allocated more monitor panels to the fab, they were replacing existing TV panels, to make up for poor performance in the segment.

“With BOE operating the 10.5-generation line, panel makers have become more aggressive on pricing since early 2018 to digest their capacity,” the analyst explained. “Panel makers view [applications such as public, automotive and industrial displays] as a new cash cow that can compensate for the sharp price erosion in main panels for TVs, monitors and notebook PCs,” Wu said.

The analyst expects large TFT-LCD panel shipment growth to continue in 2019. 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% and 6.6%, respectively, over the year, while shipments of TV panels are forecast to grow just 2.6%.

In 2019, three new 10.5-generation 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,” Wu concluded in the IHS Markit Large Area Display Market Tracker.