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© alexander fediachov dreamstime.com Electronics Production | September 27, 2012

EnergyTrend: Hope for Japanese solar, despite stagnant market

The annual SPI (Solar Power International 2012) recently came to an end in Orlando. According to EnergyTrend, SPI 2012 saw a decline in both attendees and popularity compared to the previous years.
Related manufacturers noted that during the three-day exhibition, there were some inactive booths; even though some companies from the west coast of the United States have paid for attendance fee, they had nothing but promotional materials seen at the exhibition. It shows that as the PV market outlook remains stagnant, solar companies’ budgets have become tight.

Moreover, the EU PVSEC that kicked off this week is not immune to the downtrend either. After interviewing several related companies, EnergyTrend found that few solar system procurements happened at the assorted solar exhibition this year. In the past, EU PVSEC was a major convention for Chinese and Taiwanese solar firms, and was where they would figure out the orders for the forth quarter and the coming year.

However, they only sent sales representatives to the solar conventions this year; few procurement representatives were spotted. Related companies indicated that sales representatives were there to talk to clients about the market outlook and to see clients’ financial situation. Given the weak demand, solar companies remain conservative towards 4Q12. With the PV Taiwan exhibition starting in one week, Taiwanese and Chinese solar makers would use this opportunity for business interactions.

Nonetheless, they stress that their main focus for 2H12 was on the Japanese market; with limited budget, investing in Japan will be their priority. Therefore, related manufacturers are more interested in attending PV Japan towards the end of the year.

According to EnergyTrend, the European Union has completed the initial investigation, and will analyze related information to determine whether or not it will start an anti-dumping and countervailing case against Chinese solar firms. In addition, with several annual major exhibitions about to commence, and with the coming up Chinese National Day holidays , sales on the spot market will remain in a slump. Spot prices only saw minor adjustments this week.

Polysilicon’s lowest price came down to $16.0/kg and ASP dropped to below $18.77/kg, a 1.43% decrease. Multi-Si wafer’s lowest price in China slid to $0.85/piece, with most prices ranging between $0.92/piece and $0.96/piece; multi-Si wafer’s lowest global price fell to $0.88/piece, with ASP dropping to $1.0/piece. Related companies said given the bleak demand, ASP may fall below $1.0/piece in the future.

Due to the coming October 1 holiday and production downsizing, multi-Si wafer ASP slid to $0.954/piece, a 0.42% decrease. As for mono-Si wafers, related companies state that with the weak demand and persisting price downtrend, ASP dipped to $1.195/piece, a 0.67% decrease. As for solar cells, the prices in China and Taiwan fell between $0.36/Watt and $0.38/Watt, with the ASP falling to $0.376/Watt, a 2.34% decrease. As for modules, the spot prices stayed flat with ASP dropping by 0.3% to $0.672/Watt. Affected by silicone modules’ price decrease, certain Chinese thin film makers chose to cut prices, which caused thin film ASP to dip to $0.669/Watt, a 1.62% decrease

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