TrendForce: Inflation suppresses consumer products demand
According to TrendForce investigations, global TV shipments will reach 47.26 million units in 1Q22, down 20% QoQ.
Driven primarily by the Russian-Ukrainian war, prices of raw materials such as crude oil and natural gas have risen, while the recent breakout of the Omicron strain of the pandemic in China has incited repeated no warning attempts at enacting dynamic zero-COVID, which has hindered the flow of logistics, hiked freight rates, and taken as a whole, exacerbated existing global inflation woes. Consumers with limited disposable income have started to cut back on non-essentials with TV sales bearing the brunt. Looking at the three major TV sales regions of North America, Europe, and China in 1Q22, high inflation in Europe and the United States has led to a sharp 20% drop in demand. In China, due the festering pandemic, numerous cities have been locked down, while unemployment is spiking, logistics are impeded, and prices soar. TV product sales are at a complete disadvantage and the demand in 1Q22 dropped by 15~20%.
TrendForce further points out, originally Chinese brands banked on low 2Q22 panel prices and not being required to shoulder expensive shipping costs in the domestic market, expecting that the 618 anniversary promotional period would inject fresh enthusiasm into the market and boost annual shipments. However, now that China's TV sales are disrupted by the pandemic, any hope riding on TV brands’ only large-scale promotional event in the first half of the year may have been dashed. In addition, Q3 was when brands stocked up in previous years for Black Friday and Christmas season promotions in Europe and the United States. However, this year’s FIFA World Cup was postponed to November, resulting in overlapping promotional schedules, which may curb sales. Ocean freight remains expensive this year, with additional costs increasing with greater item size, which is not conducive to the rollout of branded manufacturers’ large-scale promotional activities in 2H22. Therefore, TrendForce estimates that this year's TV shipments will drop further to 212 million units, for an annual growth of only 1%, and there exists additional potential for downward risk.
Demand in Europe and US misses estimates, international brands drop orders, and 2Q22 decline in TV panel prices expands further
The top two leading TV brands, Samsung and LG Electronics, are mainly sold in North America and Europe. Therefore, since TV sales in Europe and the United States declined by 20% in 1Q22, this had the greatest impact on these two leading brands. Samsung Electronics shipped 10.9 million TVs in 1Q22, down 3.1% QoQ while LG Electronics shipped 6.53 million TVs in 1Q22, down 11.8% QoQ and down 6.4% YoY. Affected by weak terminal demand, the two major brands revised their panel purchase orders in late March. Samsung's purchasing volume in 1Q22 was revised down 7.5% and fell by 9.5% in 2Q22. LG Electronics primarily focused on reducing purchase orders in 2Q22 and purchasing volume decline is expected to exceed 20%.
TrendForce specifically states, major international manufacturers have recently revised their orders in succession. Although Chinese brands have yet to see a significant reduction in orders, if 618 promotions are disappointing, it cannot be ruled out panel procurements will begin to fall in mid-to-late Q2. Although branded manufacturers significantly revised TV panel orders downward in 2Q22, panel manufacturers have not seen a significant reduction in utilization rate, which will depress the price of panels below 55 inches (inclusive) in a sustained freefall while the prices of large size panels above 65 inches (inclusive) will continue to deteriorate.
Samsung Electronics delays launch of WOLEDs, styming 2022 OLED TV shipment performance
This year, the supply of OLED TV panels has benefited from LG Display's expanded production capacity of 8.5-generation OLED TVs in Guangzhou. As supply increased, LG Display also improved product specifications and prices, but this led to Samsung Electronics delaying the verification and launch schedule of white OLED products. Not only has Samsung Electronics' 2022 market share of OLED TVs shrunk from 15% at the beginning of the year to 6.4%, but global OLED TV shipments will be revised down to 7.79 million units this year, with an annual growth rate of 17%.