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Photovoltaic production in March: Demand recovery drives a significant increase in cell/ module production

published: 2024-03-08 17:04

- Silicon: Increased to 76-77GW, a month-on-month increase of 4-5%.

Top manufacturers (Yongxiang, Daquan, Xinxi, Xin Te) have not yet released new capacity, but second and third-tier manufacturers and new players have gradually increased production, such as Xinjiang Jingnuo, Gansu Baofeng, Xinjiang Qiya, and Hesheng; while Dongfang Xiwang, Runyang, Nanbo, and Hongyuan's capacity release and ramp-up progress have been delayed, expected to gradually start production in Q2 2024; Overseas, some companies' production lines are undergoing maintenance, expected to gradually recover in Q2 2024.

- Wafers: Increased to 69GW, a month-on-month increase of 19%, with N-type  52-53GW.

February's actual wafer output was adjusted to around 58GW, with a significant increase expected in March to 69GW, representing a month-on-month increase of approximately 19%. Currently, wafer inventories continue to accumulate, but manufacturers maintain a high level of operation to ensure shipment volumes and market share; N-type wafers accounted for 74% in February, up approximately 2 percentage points. N-type wafer production expected to reach approximately 52-53GW in March, accounting for approximately 76%, with penetration rates continuing to rise.

- Cell: Increased to 62GW, a month-on-month increase of 32%, with N-type  39-41GW.

With the Chinese New Year holiday, in February most cell manufacturers planned to reduce production and utilize the off-season for upgrades such as PERC and TOPCon, with actual output in February matching expected production at around 47GW. Driven by recovering demand, cell production is expected to reach 62GW in March, a 32% increase compared to the previous month; N-type cell output was around 30GW in February, accounting for approximately 64%, Which expected to reach 39-41GW in March, accounting for approximately 65%.

- Modules: Global/domestic production increased to 55/50GW, a month-on-month increase of 47%/57%, and order-taking rate improved significantly in Q2

In February, global/domestic module production was approximately 37-38/31-32GW. In early March, affected by uncertain demand, manufacturers generally took a conservative approach to production, but with the increase in order rates, module manufacturers have gradually revised their production plans, mainly focusing on increasing production among first-tier manufacturers. It is expected that in March, domestic/global module production will reach approximately 49-50/55GW, representing a month-on-month increase of 47%/57%. However, overseas, the supply of modules exported to the United States is affected by factors such as prices and anti-avoidance measures, leading to a downward revision of production plans by small manufacturers for April-May, and supply to the United States from India also faces obstacles. Currently, manufacturers' order rates remain divergent but improving, with first-tier manufacturers at only about 50-60%, some at 70-80%; due to the recovery of domestic ground-mounted solar power demand in the second quarter and the need for stock replenishment in Europe, the order rate for first-tier manufacturers averages 60-80%, increase significantly from the first quarter.

Source: Guangfa renewable energy research


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