Panel demand to stay strong: firms
By Kathryn Chiu, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Innolux Corporation (Innolux, 群創光電) and AU Optronics (AUO, 友達光電) on Wednesday said they are starting to see TV panel orders pick up and predict them to remain strong throughout the year due to the traditional peak season in mainland China's market.
August 29, 2013, 12:22 am TWN
Senior managers at both major Taiwanese flat panel makers yesterday made similar comments about the second-half panel market while attending the Aug. 28-30 Touch Taiwan 2013 exhibition.
The two panel makers have seen their shipments to China TV vendors decrease over the last few months due to the end of mainland Chinese LCD TV subsidies in June, but now expect the orders to pick up throughout the rest of the third quarter of 2013 as vendors prepare for an expected surge in sales in October.
Despite lower-than-expected demand in the third-quarter, AUO President Paul S.L. Peng (彭双浪) yesterday said that he is starting to see flat TV panel orders pick up in August due to TV vendors in China preparing for the nation's Oct. 1 holiday period.
Lin Chen-hui (林振輝), Innolux spokesman & associate vice president, yesterday said that he expects Innolux's August financial results to be better than July. Even though August has improved month-on-month, Lin still shared Peng's view that third-quarter results will come in worse than the second quarter.
Q3 UT rate to slide to 90 percent: WitsView
AUO's and Innolux's capacity utilization (UT) rates are expected to remain high for the fourth quarter, Peng & Lin said.
Research firm WitsView has recently published a report saying that UT rates for major flat panel makers worldwide including Innolux and AUO will dip in the third quarter.
WitsView forecast AUO's August-Septemper UT rate to slide to 90-92 percent from 96 percent in July, while Innolux's August-Septemper UT rate is expected to drop to 89-90 percent from 93 percent in July.
At the Touch Taiwan 2013 exhibition, which kicked off yesterday, Innolux and AUO endeavored to impress the market by showcasing their latest high-end high definition flat panel achievements.
According to research reports, Innolux currently holds an approximate 70-percent market share in global Ultra HD (UHD) TV panel shipments.
Current market estimates indicate that UHD TV panels are expected to surpass the 1-million shipment mark in August, with Innolux acting as the main supplier followed by AU Optronics (AUO).
Within the shipment estimates, 50-inch UHD units make up around 40 percent while 39-inch units are also in high demand. Innolux as a result has benefited the most as it is currently focused primarily on producing 39-inch and 50-inch UHD units.
Innolux also has plans to release high color gamut UHD TV panels in the third quarter of 2013, with most of the supply expected to go to Toshiba and Panasonic.
AUO meanwhile continues to remain focused on the production of NTSC (National Television System Committee) 55- and 65-inch panels, with 90 percent of their production devoted to this purpose. Meanwhile, 10 percent of their production is devoted to UHD, with orders mostly going to Sony. However, the company is also expected to mass produce 42- and 50-inch UHD TV panels in the fourth quarter.