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European PV demand awaits inventory clearance

Posted: 18 May 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:solar cell? speed inventory turnover? PV market?

According to EnergyTrend's survey, the average price of solar cell has been close to $1/W. Manufacturers indicated that since uncertainty in Europe has faded away, the price quotation of solar cell has stayed at $1/W. On the other hand, because some manufacturers have slashed wafer prices to lower inventories, wafer prices have reached $2.6 apiece at the lowest, but average prices are still at over $2.8 apiece. Module prices have remained between $1.4/W and $1.5/Watt.

Some polysillicon manufacturers still set their price at over $70/kg, which cannot meet the downstream manufacturers' expectation. According to latest survey however, the price of polysilicon has decreased by 0.75 percent to 72.725/kg. EnergyTrend believes that since the uncertainty in Italy has disappeared, the decrease has narrowed. However, manufacturers have adopted a wait-and-see attitude and held on to their prices.

Moreover, there's price pressure also on Si-wafer manufacturers and the average price has decreased by 2.73 percent to $2.89 apiece. Besides, the price of mono-silicon wafer has fallen by 0.99 percent to $3.288 per unit.

The lowest spot price of solar cells has remained at $0.9/W, but the average price has dropped by 2.22 percent to $1.011/W. Due to weak module market demand, the average price has generally fallen by 2.42 percent to $1.453/W. In terms of thin film, the average price has slightly decreased by 1.54 percent, to $1.151/W.

wafer manufacturers

Although the Italian government has announced their latest subsidies, it brings both good and bad news. While, on one hand, the Italian government has increased the the small-system installation specification to 1MW, it has set a limit on subsidy for large systems. According to EnergyTrends, that government is also offering a 10-percent rebate to corporations that use modules, PV inverters and system installation parts made by European manufacturers. That poses a serious challenge to non-European suppliers.

EnergyTrend believes that the return of demand in the second half of 2011 will depend on the speed of inventory turnover in the European market between June and August.

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