As China demand grows, flat-panel shipments to rebound: report


TAIPEI–Global shipments of large flat panels are expected to stage a rebound in March, largely as demand from China is on the rise on the back of buyers’ restocking, a research report said Saturday.

In the report, WitsView, a flat screen research division of Taiwan-based market information advisory firm TrendForce Corp., said Chinese buyers have been boosting their inventories in a bid to meet a buying spree expected for the upcoming May 1 Labor Day holiday.

Jeffery Chen, an analyst with WitsView, said restocking of ultra high definision panels of 39-, 50-, 55-, 58- and 65-inches is on the increase in China, while the launch of new TV models by international brands is also boosting demand for TV panels.

Chen said that worldwide TV panel shipments in March are expected to grow 21 to 22 percent from February.

WitsView said that shipments of monitors for desktop computers in March are expected to grow 16 to 17 percent from a month earlier, as some manufacturers have started to increase production.

Taiwan-based AU Optronics Corp., 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 notebook computers and tablets, shipments in March are expected to grow 21 percent and 12 percent, respectively, from February on rising demand, the research institute said.

The upbeat shipment assessments for March are contrary to a shipment decline recorded in February, in which the Lunar New Year holiday cut short the number of working days, impacting the market climate, WitsView said.

In February, shipments of large panels fell 1.8 percent from a month earlier to 58.60 million units, according to the research report. However, the February figure was up 1 percent from a year earlier.

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