|LCD TV panel shipments grew 20 per cent month-on-month in March and 11 per cent on March last year, according to IHS's Monthly TFT LCD Shipment Database.|
The record shipments were achieved despite an inventory adjustment caused by LCD TV brands reducing their panel orders in the 2015 first quarter, with a strong demand for leading TV brands to fulfil their panel facilitation plans, combined with a strong cross-marketing push by TV panel makers, contributing to the monthly high.
Panel shipments declined seasonally in the first quarter, IHS stated, with most LCD TV modules manufactured in China, and the Chinese New Year holidays in February meaning fewer working days in LCD cell fabs in Asia and LCD module lines in China.
While the LCD TV panel supply-demand balance has shifted from tightness to oversupply - with TV makers having started to reduce orders, especially for older models - positive year-on-year growth is still expected, especially given the March rebound in shipments.
"Although the LCD TV panel demand has shown signs of slowing after the holidays, leading TV brands are preparing their new models for launch, so orders are not diminished," commented Yoonsung Chung, IHS director of large area display research.
"Meanwhile, panel makers are aggressively introducing 4K resolution, wide colour gamut, ultra-slim bezels and other new features to improve panel shipment growth."
Panel makers are targeting 261 million units this year, up from 253 million units in 2014.
"Demand will slow, beginning in the second quarter of 2015, and panel prices are already starting to fall, so TV panel shipments may face some growth challenges in the coming months," Chung added.
By size, 23.6" displays, primarily available in emerging regions, shipped a record 2.1 million units in March, with 40" displays also reaching record levels in shipping 3.3 million units. The 43" (1.2 million), 49" (0.9 million) and 65" (0.4 million) display sizes also achieved record shipment levels in the month.
Samsung Display and LG Display led the way with 4K LCD TV panel shipments, which grew from 1.7 million units in February to a record 2.6 million units in March.
IHS stated that red-green-blue-white (RGBW) pixel-layout technology is expected to rise rapidly in 2015, with the industry's acceptance of the technology gradually extending from the Chinese to the global market.