Since Taiwan’s first-tier cell manufacturers achieved full-production status in 2H13 and second-tier manufacturers increased cell shipment, total cell shipment in Taiwan reached a new high in 2013. EnergyTrend, a research division of TrendForce, indicates that the annual shipment growth rate was 42% in 2013 for Taiwan’s cell manufacturers, with total shipment exceeding 8.3GW. As for individual Taiwanese manufacturers, shipment of Motech, Neo Solar Power, and Gintech all surpassed 1GW. NSP didn’t count DelSolar’s shipment in until they acquired DelSolar in June, 2013. Thus, Motech was still the Taiwanese cell manufacturer with the largest shipment in 2013. But it’s possible to be replaced by NSP in 2014. Overall, the total shipment for the top three manufacturers is likely to represent around 55% of the total shipment in Taiwan.
“Regarding the trade war initiated by Solarworld, it’s not likely to impact Taiwan in January and February. Yet, if the judgment reaches final stage, they may decide to trace back to products traded since the beginning of March, 2014. By then, Taiwanese manufacturers’ OEM orders received in the end of 1Q14 and the beginning of 2Q14 may be affected,” said Jason Huang, research manager of EnergyTrend.
The markets tend to think that US has a moderate chance of establishing the case. The investigation will bring out more issues related to minimum price and volume limit for China-USA solar products. Therefore, either Chinese manufacturers reduce shipment to the US or produce cells themselves in the future will bring certain level of damage to Taiwan’s PV manufacturers.
“In order to correspond to the market changes, mono-si and multi-si cell development is now different for Taiwanese manufacturers. Due to the decreased subsidy and fierce price competition, Japanese manufacturers may transfer part of their multi-si cell OEM orders to China in 2014. Hence, Taiwanese manufacturers must continue to increase cell’s conversion efficiency and enhance mono-si cell capacity, so they can produce modules with higher power output and focus more on the niche market,” added Huang.
Although Taiwan’s cell shipment may exceed 10GW in 2014 follow the increased shipment and conversion efficiency, the market condition can be somewhat uncertain in Taiwan impacted by USA’s anti-dumping investigation. The trade among China, Europe, and USA will affect Taiwanese manufacturers. Thus, Taiwanese manufacturers must explore a wider range of markets.