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© pengyou93 dreamstime.com Analysis | January 31, 2014

USA’s anti-dumping investigation may affect taiwanese cell manufacturers

SolarWorld once again requested anti-dumping and countervailing investigation against Chinese modules shipped to USA.
This time, the investigation will include module with third-party solar cells. EnergyTrend, a research division of TrendForce, indicates that the total amount of PV installation was 4.3GW in 2013, in which 90% (around 3GW) of modules were from China. Although it cost US$0.7/watt for Chinese modules shipped to USA, the cost was very close to the minimum price set between EU-China. However, due to the Chinese government’s great support towards the PV industry these years, Chinese manufacturers can sell relatively low-priced products as they are under deficit . It’s projected that US has a moderate chance of establishing the case.

“Although the Taiwanese government didn’t provide PV subsidy plans (e.g. financial support, tax incentive, and export tax rebate) and Taiwanese manufacturers’ average cell price was between US$0.39-0.41/watt, Taiwanese cell manufacturers still turned around losses in 3Q13 due to the increased cell price. Yet, judging from previous experiences, such as DRAM, steel, and textile industry, the criterion for product dumping has to depend on whether manufacturers’ sales price is lower than the cost.

Basically, by definition, Taiwanese manufacturers’ sales practices meet that criterion of USA’s anti-dumping. Hence, the government agencies and the industry should respond quickly and start collecting and analyzing relevant data based on SolarWorld’s request. Through searching for conditions favorable to Taiwan in the future investigation, Taiwan’s PV industry rights and future development can be maintained,” said Arthur Hsu, research manager of EnergyTrend.

Judging from the spot market, although the market is uncertain due to USA’s anti-dumping and countervailing investigation, they are still positive about the overall market condition. EnergyTrend believes that the price from poly to cell will continue to increase in the short run in January. For poly, Chinese poly price remained high. The quotation may reach RMB$150/kg in January while actual price may be around RMB$143/kg.

Last week’s average price came to US$18.768/kg, a 1.46% rise. For multi-si wafers, supply shortage issue remained for high-efficiency products. Manufacturers have also revised the price upward, which caused spot price to continuously increase. Last week’s average price reached US$0.979/piece, a 0.93% rise. For mono-si wafers, last week’s average price was raised to US$1.165/piece, a 0.17% rise.

For cells, market demand and utilization rate remained high in January. Anti-dumping and countervailing investigation proposed by USA didn’t impact cell price to go up again in January, with average price reaching US$0.393/watt, a 0.77% rise. For modules, last week’s average price was US$0.66/watt, staying flat from last week. However, EnergyTrend estimates that price trend in the short run will fluctuate due to USA’s anti-dumping investigation.

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