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Solar PV market stumbles due to subsidy cuts

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:PV market? polysilicon price? subsidy policy?

EnergyTrend, a research arm of TrendForce Corp, has revealed that the solar PV market demand has fallen recently due to the passing of Germany's new subsidy policy, in addition to news of the Italy's plans to also cut solar subsidies. Additionally, as the anti-dumping duties imposed on China by the U.S. are lower than generally expected, it is said that Taiwan module makers have been asked to temporarily suspend shipments. The trail of unfavorable market factors has resulted in significant adjustments to recent spot prices, noted the market research division.

PV vendors cite Italy's policy draft plans for significant solar subsidy cuts, which are expected to be passed in mid-2012. Furthermore, as Germany's new subsidy policy officially took effect on April 1, market demand has been on a steady downward slide for the past two weeks. As buyers' price expectations are a far cry from what vendors are prepared to offer, the spot market is looking somewhat barren. According to EnergyTrend's data, offers from traders are nearing previous lowspolysilicon offers for instance, are about $21-22/kg, while on average, selling price is about $0.5-1/kg higher.

PV spot price

According to EnergyTrend's data, offers from traders are nearing previous lowspolysilicon offers for instance are about $21-22/kg, while on average, selling price is about $0.5-1/kg higher.

EnergyTrend research expressed that solar cell makers are keeping stock levels about one week's worth or so. Some module makers have received requests from clients to temporarily suspend shipments, but whether or not the orders will be canceled is unclear as of yet. Additionally, manufacturers have lowered capacity utilization rates significantly, and are conservative toward Q2 levels. Makers are engaging in strict inventory management to prevent losses due to excess stock.

Affected by weakened demand on the European market, this week's spot prices fell as wafer and solar cell makers aggressively cleaned out excess materials. This week's lowest polysilicon price was $22/kg, while average polysilicon price was $23.8/kg, a 6.87 percent decrease. As for silicon wafers, noticeably weaker demand has resulted in further price reductions recently. This week's lowest multi Si wafer price fell to $1/piece, while average Si wafer price was $1.103/piece, a decrease of 3.42 percent. Mono-Si wafer price saw smaller adjustments. This week's average price was $1.561/piece, a 0.45 percent decrease. As for solar cells, this week's average price was $0.477/W, a decline of 3.44 percent.

Based on the current trend, EnergyTrend forecasts high-efficiency product (17-17.2 percent) price will fall below $0.5/W in mid-April, while standard product price will be in the $0.4-0.45/W range. In terms of solar modules, as Taiwan manufacturers' capacity utilization rates have decreased and price quotes in the Chinese market have not increased, module price fell slightly. This week's average was $0.822/W, a 1.08 percent decrease.

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