IDC Forecasts Stable APeJ Large-Format Printer Market

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Market-research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) expects the total Asia/Pacific region excluding Japan (APeJ) Large Format Printer (LFP) market to remain stable, achieving a slight growth year-over-year (YoY) by 2.24 percent, and a quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) decline of 2.85 percent, according to the latest IDC Asia/Pacific Quarterly Large Format Printer Tracker, 2018Q1 Final Historical Release.

According to IDC, the CAD (computer assisted design)/technical large-format printer market showed a 19.66 percent year-on-year growth and a 4.87 percent quarter-on-quarter growth. This growth was driven by strong growth in the inkjet large-format printer segment in Australia, India, People’s Republic of China, and Thailand. One the other hand, the laser large-format printer market declined throughout whole APeJ region on a year-on-year basis, except in the Philippines, the latter of which was  due to the newly launched “Build Build Build!” government project.

Meanwhile the graphic market posted a “rather stable trend” with a 1.40 percent decline year-on-year basis and a 4.63 percent decline quarter-on-quarter basis. However, IDC says it can still see rapid growth for UV and Aqueous/Dye-Sublimation large-format printer segments in most countries, while the solvent-based large-format printer segment “declined significantly.”

In terms of vendors’ ranking, HP Inc. was still the market leader with a market share of 17.67 percent, followed by Epson (9.29 percent). Chinese vendors kept growing on market share, and for the first time in past six quarters New Century (6.80 percent) overtook Canon (6.27 percent).

Country highlights for the large-format printer market in APeJ for first-quarter 2018 (2018Q1) are as follows:

Australia

For the CAD/technical market, 2018Q1 achieved both strong year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter growth, 23.08 percent and 64.00 percent respectively. The main driver is said to be the Australian government, which just revealed several major projects in early 2018 that will be initiated this year, including vital projects related to construction, public infrastructure, power plant, manufacturing, and mining. Regarding the graphics market, 2018Q1 was a stable quarter with a 2.91 percent mild drop year-on-year. UV and Aqueous/Dye-Sublimation segments posted continuous growth, while Eco-Solvent and Aqueous declined. Since a big event such as Pacprint will not happen this year, this results in a lack of acceleration in the graphic market.

India

The large format printer market in India grew 11.70 percent quarter-on-quarter and 38.50 percent year-on-year in Q1 2018, with shipments reaching at 2,954 units. Shipments in the large format CAD/technical printer market segment grew 17.70 percent quarter-on-quarter, and 55.20 percent year-on-year, driven by strong growth in large-format inkjet printer segment. Demonetization, GSTs and RERA have affected the real estate market in 2017.

As market is stabilizing in 2018 and the Indian government has announced various infrastructure projects, this has fueled shipment of CAD printers in India. On the other hand, shipments on the graphics side were up by 7.60% quarter-on-quarter and 28.30% year-on-year. Though solvent printers dominate the total graphics market but aqueous, UV and Latex were the key drivers of this growth.

South Korea

In contrast to Australia and India, the Korean CAD/technical market had a 7.5 percent year-on-year decline (11.42 percent quarter-on quarter). The overall CAD market is on a declining trend due to the saturation of the CAD market and declining usage. Especially for large-format printers that can print on media up to 42″ wide, vendors are moving their target from CAD to graphics printing, although the large-format printers were made for CAD printing.

Meanwhile, the graphics-printer market remained stable year-on-year, but had a 30.99 percent growth quarter-on-quarter. IDC says it sees a promising trend for the aqueous/dye-sublimation and UV segments, especially aqueous/dye-sublimation. Soft-signage printing “grew fast in Korea with the acceleration from PyeongChang Olympics.”

People’s Republic of China (PRC)

Although the shipment of large-format printers had a slight 2.32 percent year-on-year decline, total revenue grew by 6.14 percent quarter-on-quarter and 21.25 percent year-on-year, and total shipment reached 21,445 units in 2018Q1. The CAD/technical market achieved a 14.35 percent year-on-year growth. PRC will still post strong GDP growth until the end of 2020 which is the last year of the thirteen “five-year plan.” The PRC government has announced “tons of construction and infrastructure projects” that need to be completed before the end of 2020, and this will have a positive impact on the CAD/technical large-format printer market.

On the other hand, the graphics-printing large-format printer market posted a slight decline both year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter, 3.96 percent and 7.41 percent respectively. According to IDC, this decline is mainly caused by the solvent-based large-format printer market, due to strict environment restrictions starting from late 2016. However, the UV large-format printer segment showed significant growth both year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter, while the aqueous/dye-sublimation segment also posted a strong year-on-year growth.

Thailand

The Thailand CAD/technical large-format market posted very strong growth in 2018Q1, 13.30 percent year-on-year and 124.73 percent quarter-on-quarter. On the contrary, the graphic market ended up with a 15.29 percent year-on-year drop. The decline was due to the aqueous and eco-solvent segments, while aqueous/dye-sublimation and UV “were still growing and driving the market.”

Effie Wang, market analyst for IDC’s IPDS, commented overall for the APeJ region: “With governments pushing construction projects, we saw a promising growth in technical market this quarter, also with more and more attention on environmental friendly applications and solutions, UV and dye-sublimation market has been continuously growing and will still be a strong accelerator of total APeJ Large Format Printer market.”

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