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Falling inventories key to LCD TV production levels

One of the things that NPD owned display technology researcher DisplaySearch goes on about all the time in LCD TV, is inventory and it has just come o

By PETER WHITE

Published: 13 January, 2011

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One of the things that NPD owned display technology researcher DisplaySearch goes on about all the time in LCD TV, is inventory and it has just come out with a report showing how success in sales late 2010 has led to inventory reduction across the board.

What it had then expected to see is inventory to slowly rise, but this hasn’t happened, because its latest report, LCD Industry Dynamics, shows that many of the major LCD TV brands have adjusted their Q1 2011 production plans downward.

The top 16 brands now plan to make some 17.1 million devices in January followed by 13.8 million in February and 15.4 million in March (see table below).

Overall, Q1 2011 production will be just 46.3 million units, a 12% quarter on quarter decline against Q4.

“The unstable market environment in many regions is creating uncertainty regarding TV demand. Despite this, some TV brands reportedly are increasing production quantities in January 2011 because of demand anticipated from Q1 product launches,” noted Deborah Yang, Research Director of Monitor and TV for DisplaySearch.

At odds to this ODM companies are increasing shipments from December 2010 to March 2011. The implication is that existing TV brands are either increasing outsourcing to ODMs or that new entrants that do are coming into the market.

ODM companies are driven by cost management, logistics, manufacturing scale, and in some cases, access to panel supply, says DisplaySearch.

The supply of key TFT LCD panel components, such as glass substrates, color filters, polarizers, LED and light guide plates, is generally in balance in Q1 2011 it says.

Larger TFT LCD panels will fall in January shipments by 2% from December and there will be a further decline of 7% in February due to fewer working days in China. This will be compensated by a big jump in March, with shipments passing 60 million units.

The top ten LCD monitor OEMs plan to increase their production in January by 4.3% million per month, to more than 14 million units. However, they plan to reduce February and March production to just over 12 million units.

LCD TV panel shipments to China were 5.1 million units in November, and fell to 5.0 million units in December. DisplaySearch forecasts shipments will continue to fall to 4.6 million in January and 3.2 million units in February.

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