The recently announced January 2012 revenues for Taiwanese solar companies, with the Chinese New Year holidays and no apparent upswing in both shipment and prices, most companies’ revenues underwent setbacks despite the rush orders pouring in before the holidays. However, certain companies’ revenues saw steep growth on account of their lower base month over month value for 11’Dec. EnergyTrend, the green energy research division of TrendForce, believes the uncertainty of Europe countries’ subsidy policies has stimulated the demand in 1Q12, which resulted in the rush orders for Taiwanese wafer, cell and module makers. The orders continue to come in after the holiday, which will last at least until late February or early March.
Looking at the whole picture, manufacturers’ revenues in January differed vastly. Benefiting from the lower base month value for 11’Dec, Solartech and Neo Solar Power’s revenues increased considerably, while Sino-American Silicon Products and Green Energy Technology’s revenues continued to fall. On the other hand, despite their mild uptick in January, the prices still remained below the costs. Although the orders increase, whether or not the companies can make profit remains to be seen. Certain manufacturers stick with their strategy and continuously reduce the shipments of products with overly low prices, but it proves ineffective in terms of increasing revenues. Affected by the speculation about European countries ending their subsidies soon and the PV trade issue between China and United States, Taiwanese cell makers received many orders from Chinese and European companies. The cells will be shipped to a third party to integrate with modules. As for the products shipped to the United States, the manufacturers place their orders to Taiwanese cell and module makers, which prevents them from stepping on the PV trade issue.
EnergyTrend predicts that in 1Q12, Taiwanese solar companies’ revenues will gradually go up. Contrary to the previous years where January is the low season due to the subsidy cut in December and the weather conditions, the demand for 12’Jan is looking up. The situation can be attributed to the advanced subsidy cuts in major European countries. However, the market supply and demand still has room for improvement; it is still tough for the solar companies to turn profitable. The companies are bracing for the challenges facing them after 1Q12. In terms of Taiwanese manufacturers’ January revenues, Sino-American Silicon Product, Green Energy Technology and Gintech's respective revenues fell by 18.8%, 7.4% and 11.9%, while cell makers Motech, Neo Solar Power and Solartech’s revenues dropped by 7.3%, 28.2% and 103.4%, respectively.