According to LEDinside, the LED research division of TrendForce, major lighting markets in the world have been affected by the European debt crisis in varying degrees. Certain Chinese LED firms whose businesses rely heavily on overseas markets have seen a decline in orders, which is particularly pronounced in the European lighting market. As a result, many LED companies start to shift their focus to the Chinese LED bidding market. In fact, China has recently restarted the bidding for LED subsidies in July, which provided hope for many LED firms.
As for the outlook for 2H12, with the stagnant global economy dampening the end market and many large-scale lighting projects have reaching a halt, most export companies turned to on-going mid-scale and small-scale lighting projects and the commercial lighting market. On the other hand, large-scale LED lighting market demand will depend on the bidding project market in China in 2H12.
According to LEDinside, orders of LED lighting firms with primarily European clients, saw a over QoQ 20% decline in 3Q12. European orders saw the most prominent downturn during May-July, 2012. Given the murky outlook for 2H12, European distributors have decreased their orders placed in the Asian market. Moreover, due to the payment delay, the large-scale lighting projects in Europe have come to a halt. Looking towards 2H12, the mid-scale and small-scale lighting projects will continue as scheduled, but the price competition is going to be fierce.
Aside from the European LED market, according to LEDinside’s latest research report in 2012, the LED lighting demand, especially LED light bulb and LED light tube, in the United States market has been picking up monthly due to the increasing new housing projects. The second half of the year is usually the peak season for the residential lighting market, and so far the U.S. market has been performing better than the European market does, albeit the still uncertain global market outlook.
Due to the slump in the European and U.S. market, the global lighting giants such as Philips and Osram start to put more emphasis on the Asian market. For example, benefiting from the summer energy-saving policy, people in Japan are more willing to buy LED light bulbs, which will contribute to a strong LED demand surge for 3Q12 in the Japanese market.
What’s more, the LED lighting project market in China will be the target of most LED companies. In early 2012, due to the drastic differences between the product qualities of the winning bidders, the bidding for the 2012 Solid-State Lighting Product Subsidy was restarted again in July for the 2012/2013 period, with outdoor lighting products such as LED street lamp, LED tunnel light and indoor lighting products such as LED down light, self-ballasted LED reflector lamp included in the subsidy scheme. The Chinese government set up new standards for the new bidding in order to increase the product qualities of the bid winners.
Although China’s LED subsidy bidding in 1H12 did not go as smoothly as planned causing many projects to be placed on halt, the new standards added to the new bidding will help increase the product quality and set up the threshold for the companies who plan to bid. Even though the subsidy amount has not been announced yet, the support from the government will undoubtedly aid the development of the LED industry. Commercial, industrial and household lighting markets will gradually take off as the governments start to increase related subsidies and the market acceptance begin to go up.
January-May light bulb and lighting fixtures shipments of major countries (Unit: million)