Global demand is ticking back up for flat panel displays (FPD), with the research firm Omdia issuing a new supply and demand tracker report that suggests demand is up 12% from the previous quarter and 4% year on year.
Q3 demand will is set to reach 220 million m2 in 2020, says PR related to the newest OLED and LCD Supply Demand & Equipment Tracker.
The report also notes how capacity for large area FPD production is only growing net 2% in 2020.
Korean panel makers are in the process of shuttering their domestic LCD factories and will reduce Gen 7 and Gen 8.5 TV capacity by approximately 19 million m2 this year, the equivalent of about 31 million 43-inch TVs.
There have also been disruptions in the supply chain. Multiple new FPD factories in China have suffered delayed ramp-ups as travel restrictions on foreign engineers prevented the set-up of key equipment during 1H20.
Now in 4Q, production is further being impacted by tight supply of Gen 10.5 glass substrates for some panel makers.
The report suggests demand is driven by a shift to ever-larger flat panel display sizes.
In 2020 the weighted average LCD TV size will reach 47-inches, up from 45.4-inches in 2019. COVID-19 has also significantly impacted FPD supply and demand in unexpected ways throughout 2020. With lifestyles of people around the world shifting to ever more work, study, and entertainment at home, demand for tablets, notebooks, monitors, and TVs has surged. With consumers reducing spending on commuting, eating out, travel, etc., discretionary expenditures are being transferred to home improvements, including consumer electronics purchases.
“Very tight supply in 3Q20 caused panel prices to rapidly rise and should help most leading FPD makers to return to profitability; a very welcome turn of the market as most have suffered consecutive losses since 1Q19,” says Charles Annis, Displays Practice Leader at Omdia.
“Currently, we forecast a healthy, balanced market in 2021, where supply and demand area are both expected to grow about 6%. However, many unknowns remain on how COVID-19 will continue to impact demand, and how the improved market might encourage Korean panel makers to delay factory shutdowns and Chinese makers to expand capacity.”
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.