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Taiwanese PV Makers to Establish More Overseas Markets under US’s Punitive Duties

published: 2015-01-30 16:51

The final determination of the US’s anti-dumping and countervailing (AD/CVD) duties against certain Chinese and Taiwanese solar PV products has been announced this month, and Taiwanese makers are suffering from more severe impacts than Chinese makers. According to EnergyTrend’s customs export trade statistics, both the price and the volume of Taiwan’s solar cell exports in 2014 decreased. Still, they shipped their products to more overseas markets.

The customs export trade data collected by EnergyTrend shows that Taiwanese PV cell vendors exported cells totaled 4GW in the first half of 2014 (1H14), and reached an export value of USD$1.73 billion. The top five export markets are: China, Japan, Malaysia, Germany and Singapore, while the shipment to China accounted for more than half of the total export. Most shipment to China during this period was to fulfill orders from the U.S. Therefore, Taiwanese cell manufacturers enjoyed sufficient orders and positive financial results as well as beneficial gross margins in 1H14.

Furthermore, Taiwanese makers shipped a total of 3.82GW of PV cells in the second half of 2014 (2H14). During this period, Canada ranked the fifth place of the top-five export market chart and its share of shipment to China reduced from 51% to around 40%. Total shipment in 2H14 slightly declined 4.5% compared to 1H14 while increased 5% compared to 2H13. Nonetheless, 2H14’s export value, USD$1.356 billion, rapidly dropped 21% from 1H14. The value also represented a 12.8% decrease comparing to 2H13’s USD$1.556 billion. In addition, solar PV cells’ average export price per unit in 2H14 dropped 18% from 1H14, or 17% y-o-y.

According to EnergyTrend’s research and observation, Taiwan PV cell prices would continue to decrease in the near future, yet the downturn seems to be lessened. The final determination of AD/CVD duties reinforces Taiwanese makers to come up with new strategies, such as lowering PV cell prices, exporting products to other overseas markets, and relocating their global manufacturing lines. To protect themselves from further trade disputes, Taiwanese vendors should introduce visionary production and marketing plans on the basis of the globalization of module manufacturing facilities.

This Week’s Spot Prices

As the new market strategies being unveiled, transactions in the PV market are relatively flat. Polysilicon price quote remained at US$19.4/kg. Quotes of multi-si wafers, on the contrary, have declined due to the decreasing PV cell prices and more low-priced orders. Super-high efficiency multi-si wafer’s average price dropped 0.21% to US$0.94/piece, while high-efficiency multi-si wafers’ quote slightly dropped 0.34% to US$0.887/piece. Besides, mono-si wafers’ price kept dropping to US$1.132/piece due to more stock and weak demand.

Weak demand also led to downturns of PV cell prices. High efficiency multi-si cells’ quote dropped 0.91% to US$0.328/w; price of standard Taiwan multi-si cells has dropped below the US$0.32/w threshold to around US$0.318/w. Likewise, Chinese standard multi-si cells’ quotes dropped 0.64% to US$0.312/w. Additionally, mono-si cells’ weak demand led to a 0.48% reduction and the price hit US$0.416/w this week.

In terms of PV modules, some first-tier module manufacturers started to introduce 255W~260W multi-si PV modules to catch up with the latest trend in this quarter. The market trend caused 250W PV module price slightly decreased 0.35% to US$0.57/W.

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