The result of the US-China anti-dumping and countervailing measures will be finalized on December 11th. The U.S. has narrowed down the investigation to modules and cells only in October. Despite the origins of the wafers/cells, the investigation this time mainly focuses on Chinese-made modules, while all Chinese-made cells are subject to the 2012 rulings and are excluded from the investigation. In addition, Taiwan-made modules or any third-party country that uses Taiwan cells are also covered in the investigation. Although the average cell tax rate in Taiwan was lowered after Motech’s tax rate was revised downward in August, it’s still relatively high compared to the cell duty rate adopted by Chinese manufacturers in 2012.
Starting from 3Q14, Chinese module manufacturers have begun to use Chinese cells to produce modules domestically. Thus, while Chinese cell shipments to the U.S. are imposed the 2012 duty rate, Chinese demand for Taiwan cells has reduced. We can see from the data analysis of Taiwan cell export customs, Taiwan cell export to China represents 57% in 2Q and it dropped to 33% in 3Q. Export to Japan and Germany, the two largest export countries in Taiwan, each represents 13% of Taiwan’s total export. Export ratio in 4Q will continue to fluctuate based on the demand and policies in different countries, which show that government’s policy adjustment will also affect end-user demand.
“In addition to the export countries mentioned, Taiwan cell export ratio to Malaysia and Singapore slightly increased too, with both representing 12% of Taiwan’s total export in September,” said Angus Kao, a research manager at EnergyTrend, a division of the Taiwan-based market intelligence firm TrendForce. Furthermore, Taiwan begins to ship products to France, South Africa, and Mexico, showing that the whole PV supply chain is changing after the US-China trade war takes place. Currently, module manufacturers are active in planning global strategies and building production sites in different regions to avoid future trade disputes and supply local markets closely.
This week’s spot market prices
Polysilicon contract prices remained flat this week, with the average spot price reaching $20.7/kg. Changes are not significant for wafers. High-efficiency multi-si wafer price is $0.905/piece, while average mono-si wafer is $1.145/piece. Normal-grade cell price in China and Taiwan remained flat at US$0.32/W. High-efficiency multi-si/mono-si cell prices each decreased 0.9% and 1.18% to $0.332/W and $0.42/W. 250W multi-si module prices remained the same, while 265W mono-si module increased 0.79% to US$0.635/W.