LED oversupply to extend in 2019, warns TrendForce

December 12, 2018 //By Julien Happich
LED oversupply to extend in 2019, warns TrendForce
LED companies have been keeping low stocking due to the sluggish demand in the end markets in 2018 and impacts of the China-US trade war, according to LEDinside, a division of TrendForce.

Looking ahead to 2019, LEDinside's market analysts expect the overall industry to be at risk of oversupply, while demands for niche applications, including fine-pitch LED digital display, Mini LED backlight, UV-C LED, automotive lighting and high-efficiency lighting LED will provide a positive outlook, driving future market growth.

After the recent G20 summit, China and the U.S. have announced to halt new trade tariffs for 90 days, which were originally planned to take effect on January 1, 2019. For the LED industry, it is still uncertain whether the tariffs would be 25% or 10%, which may significantly influence manufacturers’ purchase plans and relocation of factories. However, as the trade war looms, LED manufacturers have to postpone their schedules of decision making. With all these uncertainties, the supply chain tends to wait and see how the situation plays out after three months. So the pending circumstance may slow down demands further.


Fine-pitch LED digital display

According to LEDinside, the revenue of fine-pitch display-used LED will grow by 31% YoY in 2018, with the increasing demand for LED displays from the rental market, retail industry and conference rooms, etc. Compared with other applications, fine-pitch LED displays have higher profit margins, and the fine-pitch technology would also enable more new applications. In addition, the falling prices of LED chips have made LED displays more cost-effective than other alternatives in the commercial sector. Therefore, many LCD panel manufacturers and branded display manufacturers would try to develop fine-pitch LED displays, including Epistar, San’an Optoelectronics, HC Semitek, Everlight, NationStar, Harvatek and Kinglight, etc. Driver IC makers like Macroblock and Chipone would also benefit from the development of fine-pitch LED displays.

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