SEOUL, July 29 (Yonhap) — South Korean display makers’ TV panel shipments in the first half of the year decreased sharply as they push to scale down their LCD business, a report showed Wednesday.

Samsung Display Co. and LG Display Co. — the country’s top two players — were ranked fifth and sixth respectively in terms of global TV shipments in the January-June period, according to a report from market researcher TrendForce.

Samsung Display supplied 12.12 million TV panels in the first six months of the year, down 28.3 percent from a year earlier. LG Display’s shipment reached only 11.79 million panels over the cited period, down from 22.95 million a year ago when it ranked second in TV panel shipments.

Industry insiders said the TV panel shipment declines of the two firms were expected as they earlier announced their exits from the production of LCD panels for TVs.

LG Display said it will halt domestic production of LCD TV panels by the end of this year, while Samsung Display also decided to end its production of LCD TV panels to transition quickly to its next-generation quantum-dot display business.

While South Korean display makers are losing their ground in the TV panel market, Chinese firms are increasing their presence.

BOE Technology Group Co. remained atop global TV panel shipment rankings in the first half of the year, although its shipment volume suffered a 14.6 percent on-year decline to 23.26 million panels, TrendForce data showed.

China Star Optoelectronics Technology Co. moved up from fourth to second in the industry after shipping 21.29 million panels in the first half of the year, up 8.3 percent from a year ago.

Taiwan-based Innolux Corp. came in third with 20.33 million panels. Chinese player HKC moved up from seventh to fourth in the rankings after shipping 13.93 million panels in the first half of the year, up 99.8 percent from a year ago.’

TrendForce said that global TV panel shipments declined 8.4 percent on-year to 129.05 million panels in the first half of the year due to production capacity shifts and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The market researcher said global TV panel shipments are expected to increase in the third quarter of the year compared to the previous quarter but are likely to be lower than a year ago.

“In spite of this quarterly growth, the pandemic has caused a slowdown in new fabs’ capacity expansion,” it said. “This, combined with the consistently high demand for IT panels, is expected to compress the shipment of TV panels, meaning TV panel shipment is still projected to show a 6.3 percent decrease year-on-year.”