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TrendFroce: PV Shifts its Focus to China and Battle over Domestic Demand About to Begin in 2014

18 September 2013 Energy Jason Huang

Due to the EU-China trade wars and the rising of Asian markets, PV manufacutrers have started to re-adjust their strategic plans. According to an investigation regarding PV manufacturers’ total shipments and net sales in the first half year investigated byEnergyTrend, a research division of TrendForce, first-tier Chinese manufacutrers have obviously lowered the proportion of shipments to Europe and will shift the focus to Chinese domestic market, Japan, and other Asian markets.

Take Trina for example, the proportion of shipments to Europe is estimated to drop from 48% (last year) to 27%, among which, most of the shipments have been transferred to China and Japan. The ratio of shipments to China will increase from 13% to about 30%. Jinko’s shipments to Europe last year represented about 50% of the total shipments, however, it has been revised downward significantly. Shipments to China are likely to represent 40%-50% of the total shipments in the 2H13. Also, Jinko is likely to increase the amount of shipments to Japan and USA. In addition, the increased domestic market demand raised module shipments in the second quarter by more than 60% for Trina and Jinko. Besides, JA Solar’s shipments to Asia accounted for 70% and Canadian Solar’s shipments to Japan accounted for more than 30%. Although SunPower and REC are Western manufacturers, they reduced the shipments to Europe and focused more toward Japan. It not only shows that demand from the Japanese market is increasing, but also shows the decline of the European market. This will cause Western companies which were not affected by the anti-dumping and countervailing policies to re-adjust their strategic plans as well.

Shifted focus back to the Chinese market, Chinese PV manufacturers increase net sales through domestic demand

Judging from the net sales in the 2Q13, Jinko and Trina have continued to raise shipments to China, which have also increased quarterly net sales by more than 50%. Jinko has even become the first first-tier Chinese manufacturer that successfully turned around losses. Having the largest amount of shipments, Yingli has reduced the ratio of shipments to Europe and transferred the shipments to Asia and USA while net sales remain the top among Chinese manufacturers. As for Canadian Solar and ReneSola, although drop in net sales from the European market has not been as large as that for the previous manufacturers mentioned, they have transferred most of the shipments to Americas to support sales performance in the second quarter. Even though JA Solar’s shipments to Asia (such as Japan) remain high, the company’s performance wasn’t outstanding since they put more emphasis on cell shipment rather than module shipment like the rest of the manufacturers.

On the other hand, net sales for US manufacutrers are declining. For example, First Solar has lost its championship in net sales; Shipments to Japan turned out to be better than expected for SunPower because high-efficiency modules can meet Japanese market demand, thus drop in net sales wasn’t as large as that for First Solar. It shows that Western manufacturers that mainly focus on power plant projects basically didn’t have any advantages during the rising of the Asian markets. Future development is yet to be observed.

The Chinese government shows its confidence to restructure by coming up with many policies

EnergyTrend indicates that during EU-China trade wars, the Chinese government has aggressively come up with many policies in July and August to support PV development and has been trying to stimulate Chinese market demand to digest excess production capacity. Overall, the amount of solar system installations (6GW, 10GW, and 12GW) may be completed in different phrases starting from 2013 to 2015. They are hoping to achieve the target amount of 35GW before 2015. Furthermore, the Chinese government has announced the FiT for grid-connected power plants and the subsidy standard of RMB0.42/kWh for PV distributed generation. By restraining PV capacity to be expanded meaninglessly, it shows that the Chinese government has put more efforts in revising PV industry structure. EnergyTrend believes that PV market in the fourth quarter will be dominated by China, Japan, and USA. With China being the most potential market, changes within the Chinese market is likely to impact the future development of many Chinese PV manufacturers, thus affect the global PV industry development. 

Two major focuses in 2014 is that the quota allocation of Chinese manufacturers’ shipments to Europe will be announced and that large-scale power plant projects are important profit source for manufacturers. EnergyTrend is going to hold its first PVforum 2013 – Market Status and Future Development for Solar Power Plants in Asia. A thorough analysis will be presented based on the following topics – technology threshold, system security and maintenance, prospect of power plants, energy-storage system applications, and development of future Asian markets, and so on. We sincerely welcome all of you to come join us. If you would like to know more details, please click the following link:

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