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Press Releases
TrendForce:Global LED Bulb ASP Up in August

2013/10/01

LED

Global 40W equiv LED bulb Average Selling Price (ASP) increased slightly by 17% in August 2013 to US$ 157, according to a recent bulb retail survey conducted by LEDinside, a research subsidiary of TrendForce Global introduction of new products for August was low Global 60W equiv LED bulbs ASP dropped slightly by 29% to US$ 219 Price drops were most obvious in UK LEDinside’s observations of LED bulb retail price revealed that as of this year, LED replacement bulbs for the standard 40W incandescent bulb global ASP slid 20% while LED replacement bulbs for 60W incandescent bulbs had a global ASP decrease surpassing 25 percent Compared to 2012, the price drop for LED bulbs has increased considerably with the price difference between similar products from different manufacturers shrinking LEDinside believes that top lighting brands’ fast price falls are urging regional markets to speed up regulations and market integrations LEDinside predicts there is still room for global LED ASP to continually decrease in 4Q13 Global ASP for 40W equiv LED bulb fluctuated Global 40W equiv LED bulb ASP was up by 17% to US$ 157 in August 2013 The ASP in UK increased 64% in August Prices for pre-existing products fluctuated with some prices edged upwards while others with lower prices experienced a halt in sales Aside from this, decrease in exchange rates also lead to price inflations Germany ASP for August grew 34% and prices for pre-existing products fluctuated The increased price inflation was mainly due to mostly caused by dropping exchange rates In the US, prices rose slightly by 1% Some of the pre-existing products receded temporarily receded from the market, while remaining products experienced price fluctuation fluctuation in price There were no new products introduced to the market Japanese 40W equiv LED bulbs prices dropped by 4% Pre-existing product prices steadily decreased, some more than others due to promotion leading to more significant price drops LED bulb ASP in Korea was up 09% for August with no price changes in pre-existing products, while drops in exchange rate lead to price rise In China and Taiwan 40W equiv LED bulb ASP for August remained the same with prices around US$ 102 and US$ 119 respectively Prices for pre-existing products in these two regions did not change and no new items were introduced this month In UK 60W equiv LED bulb ASPdropped below US$ 20 Global 60W equiv LED bulb ASP dropped slightly by 29% in August reaching US$ 219 UK had the most apparent price drop of 144% to around US$19 Some pre-existing products temporarily stopped sales while others experienced fluctuation in price In Japan, prices decreased by 29% to US$ 215 Pre-existing products prices fell steadily had a steady dip in price and no new products were introduced for this month Korean August LED bulb ASP rose by 09% in Korea for the month, and prices for p Pre-existing products experienced no change in price remained the same Rising prices were mainly caused by decreased exchange rate mainly caused the increasing prices Germany’s LED bulb ASP increased 03% Pre-existing products prices in the country either remained stable or dropped slightly The price uptick was caused by decreased exchange rates LED bulb ASP in US dropped slightly by 24% with some pre-existing products receded temporarily from the market, while others either maintained a steady price or experienced price decrease No new products were introduced this month Aside from this August ASP in China increased by 16% as pre-existing products maintained stability, while the drop in exchange rates triggered price inflations Taiwan 60W equiv LED bulb prices dropped by 46%, while prices of pre-existing products remained stable The price falls was mainly due to increasing exchange rates LEDinside Observations –LED lighting price trend down expected for overall regional markets LEDinside observed particular regions during August, such as Europe temporarily halted sales of certain products, while others experienced price fluctuations Overall, the market is currently in an integration phase where brand named manufacturers are launching new products while adjusting specifications of older products Each region employs different product and pricing strategies According to results from LEDinside’s LED bulb retail survey, global 40W equiv LED bulb ASP slid 20% this year While 60W equiv LED bulbs plunged more than 25% Compared with 2012, there were faster declines in LED bulb prices and the price differences between brands were shrinking this year LEDinside believes that top lighting brands fast drop in prices are urging regional markets to speed up regulations and integration It is predicted there is still room for further LED bulbs ASP reductions by 4Q13

Press Releases
TrendForce: Countervailing Duty Imposed on Chinese Imports of US Polysilicon May Have Limited Impact on Price

2013/09/30

Energy

Ministry of Commerce of People’s Republic of China (MOFCOM) recently announced that there were subsidies to the US polysilicon under investigation which led to substantive damages toward China’s domestic industry Thus, countervailing duty of 65% has been imposed on two of the US manufacturers, Hemlock and AE Polysilicon According to EnergyTrend, a research division of TrendForce, most of the Chinese polysilicon manufacturers have resumed production, which will increase polysilicon capacity Hence, the anti-subsidy duty will have limited impact on price as price is not likely to increase in the future As Indicated by EnergyTrend’s investigation, the annual growth rate for Chinese imports of US polysilicon was about 85% in 2012 In addition, based on the data announced by MOFCOM, the amount of the imported polysilicon that is subsidized by the US government has continued to go upward It increased by almost 100% in the first half of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011 Judging from the demand of Chinese solar-grade polysilicon in 2012, the proportion of imports from the US accounted for more than 20% EnergyTrend believes that the anti-subsidy duty will have limited impact on polysilicon market price Since China has announced the anti-dumping tariff before, the tax rate imposed on US manufacturers have reached 533%-57% In another word, the market price has already been affected at that time Moreover, the anti-subsidy duty is far less than the tax rate mentioned above Therefore, market price is not likely to fluctuate significantly this time On the other hand, due to the less damage towards the Korean manufacturer, OCI, and European manufacturers throughout the polysilicon anti-dumping investigation, Chinese manufacturers have turned to European and Korean manufacturers for purchase Yet, Chinese polysilicon manufacturers still face tough challenges from the worldwide competition The rising of the Chinese domestic market causes polysilicon price in China to gradually increase, which also allows Chinese polysilicon manufacturers to resume production For example, TBEA’s capacity of 12 thousand tons will be mass produced by the end of the year; CSG has resumed production this August after eleven months of delay on polysilicon production; and Sinosico has also aggressively worked on production re-activation EnergyTrend believes that it’s not likely for polysilicon price to continue increasing due to the falling downstream market prices and the Chinese manufacturers’ resumed production, which will lead to flexible supply in the future Judging from spot market’s overall performance, Chinese polysilicon price remains between RMB132/kg-RMB135/kg Affected by the result of countervailing duty, buyers have requested certain manufacturers to lower the price, which causes this week’s average price to reach US$16975/kg, a 006% drop For silicon wafers and cells, this week’s price remains steady For modules, the competition between USA and Japan is intense The price continues to drop with this week’s price reaching US$0674/Watt, a 044% drop

Press Releases
TrendForce: Impact from SK Hynix’s Fire Incident Continues, Supplies of Graphics Memory also Affected

2013/09/27

Semiconductors

According to DRAMeXchange, a research division of TrendForce, the fire accident experienced by SK Hynix's Wuxi plant has led to a sudden surge in market demand The spot market prices for mainstream PC DRAM 2Gb chips have soared by a whopping 36% since the day of the fire (the calculation is based on the chip's agreed price of $US 218 on 9/24) A growth of at least 10%, it is worth noting, is also expected for the soon-to-be-announced September contract prices Given that SK Hynix was originally the supplier with the highest market share in the graphics memory market (leading both Samsung and Micron), a major shortage in graphics DRAM (for instance, DDR3x16, GDDR3, and GDDR5) has inevitably occurred The Taiwanese companies with noticeable, though much lower, shares in this market include Nanya and Winbond Graphic memories have, since the very beginning, belonged to a niche market, with price movements that generally correlate strongly with those of PC DRAM Given that their supplies had traditionally always remained steady, a habit has never really been developed on the part of many manufacturers to maintain a "safety" inventory level for their graphics-based memory products In the periods following the Wuxi plant fire accident as well as the heightened uncertainty in the supply side, SK Hynix's ability to meet its supply schedules has clearly become restricted This has immediately caused the market prices of graphics memory to fluctuate and, later, prompted relevant manufacturers with no more than one month's worth of inventory to scout for other supply sources (some of these graphic chip makers include notable companies such as nVIDIA and AMD) According to TrendForce, the price for the most popular memory product (DDR3 4Gb 256Mx16 1866/2133MHz) has already managed to rise by 20% since the 9/4 fire accident to approximately US$ 395 It would not be unreasonable, in the following periods, to expect the said price growth to eventually surpass that of PC DRAM With regard to the high end GDDR5 2Gb chips, given that the number of suppliers are getting increasingly lower, the official prices have exceeded US$ 38 TrendForce believes SK Hynix's fire incident will impact the entire DRAM industry significantly Other than the prices for PC DRAM (which has been soaring ever since the fire accident) and the supplies of graphics memory components, the prices of products such as server DRAM and specialty DRAM are also likely to be affected Sources with familiar knowledge of semiconductor plants have already indicated that the recovery period for the Wuxi plant would take as long as three months to half a year Thus, from 4Q13 to 1Q14, the market supplies are expected to remain tight

Press Releases
TrendForce:Japan’s Zero Nuclear Power Issue Triples PV Market Demand in 2013

2013/09/24

Energy

Regular inspections have been conducted on the No4 reactor at the Oi nuclear power plant However, delay on the inspections has once again led to Japan’s “zero nuclear power” status Since nuclear power is still the major source of base-load electricity while other units are still applying for re-activation, it’s estimated that it will take at least half a year to complete security inspection According to EnergyTrend, a research division of TrendForce, the “zero nuclear power” state will force Japan to accelerate the development of renewable energy Among all, demand from solar energy is likely to go upward The total amount of grid-connected installation may reach 7GW in 2013, which will triple the installation amount last year According to the data collected by the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan (FEPC), Japan’s base-load electricity mainly focuses on Hydropower (inflow type) and nuclear power Coal-fired and gas-fired power would belong to medium-load electricity and Fuel oil and other energies would be categorized in peak-load electricity Ever since the Fukushima nuclear disaster, most of the nuclear power plants have been suspended, which has lowered the usage of nuclear power from 33% in 2010 to 215% in 2012 The power shortage caused by the decline of nuclear power has been filled by thermal power generation According to the statistical data, the top ten power companies have significantly increased the usage of thermal power generation from 5905% in 2010 to 8982% in 2012, which caused Japan to import large quantities of coal, oil, natural gas and other fuels Japan's top ten power generation scale comparison chart   Source: EnergyTrend Besides, from power supply and demand aspect, Japan’s supply and demand ratio has  remained at around 105 in the past three years However, based on the total amount of power generated in 2010, the supply and demand ratio has dropped to 0753 after deducting the amount of nuclear power generated In order to solve the insufficient power supply problems caused by the suspension of nuclear power plant after 2011, increasing the usage of renewable energy has become another solution for the Japanese government and manufacturers, aside from the solution to adopt more thermal power generation As indicated by relevant data, power companies have continued to purchase more power generated from wind and solar energy According to the data, Japan’s top ten power companies have purchased much more power generated from solar energy since 2008 The annual growth rate increased from 925% in 2008 to 4589% in 2011 As for wind energy, although the annual growth rate has been fluctuating, power purchased by power companies has also continued to increase On the other hand, according to EnergyTrend’s statistics, the amount of grid-connected installations in Japan has continued to increase In addition, it will take at least half a year for nuclear power plants to meet the security check request and re-activation safety requirements and it would be difficult to project the time needed to receive the re-activation approval from the local government, thus demand in the Japanese market have obviously gone upward this year Estimation of Japan’s Amount of Grid-Connected Installation in 2013   Source: EnergyTrend3Q13 Gold-Member Report Judging from spot market’s overall performance, Chinese polysilicon price remained between RMB130/kg-RMB140/kg Since average price slightly dropped to the range of RMB132/kg-RMB135/kg, last week’s average price came to US$16985/kg, a 009% drop For silicon wafers, both buyers and sellers are still bargaining over the price Some manufacturers indicate that they are still hoping to revise price upward but it will have to depend on future market condition Last week’s silicon wafer price remained flat For cells, demand in September was 20%-30% higher than that in August Moreover, with the increased Japanese orders, cell price for Taiwan’s first-tier manufacturers slightly increased again with last week’s average price reaching US$0391/Watt, a 026% rise For modules, last week’s average price remained steady  

Press Releases
TrendForce: USB 3.0 Flash Drive Market Progressing Slowly, 2013 Market Penetration Rate May Only Approach 10%

2013/09/18

Semiconductors

According to DRAMeXchange, a research division of TrendForce, the market penetration rate for USB 30 flash drives may only be 10% in 2013, which is weaker than expected Even though the size of the USB 30 flash drive market has yet to expand, a number of controller IC manufacturers are already starting to hasten their research developments and investments This is among the reasons why the ROI for USB 30 products fell short of expectations, and why leading manufacturers may soon emerge within the market In 2Q13, the USB 30 flash drive shipments reached 5-6 million units (the same as the previous quarter), whereas market penetration rate ended up at only 5% (see Figure-1) The unimpressive sales can mostly be attributed to the tightened NAND Flash supplies, the not-yet-refined controller IC solutions for USB 30 flash drives, poor PC sales, and the intensified price wars among the major USB 20 flash drive manufacturers Despite the possibility of an improved NAND Flash supply situation in 2H13 and the upcoming release of the cost-efficient Crystal Free USB 30 Controller IC, the persistence of the USB 20 price competition and pressures of declining NAND Flash prices are expected to put a noticeable strain on USB 30 flash drive sales In Q4, the USB 30 flash drive penetration rate is likely to only grow slightly to 10-15% TrendForce projects that the 2013 USB 30 flash drive market penetration rate will increase from 2012’s 3-4% and arrive at somewhere around 10% As more and more leading manufacturers begin releasing USB 30 products into the market, the penetration rate is likely to approach 20-25% in 2014 The UFD module manufacturers have, for a long time, longed to see the price difference between USB 30 and USB 20 products reduced In order for this to happen, controller IC manufacturers need to not only be able to offer the aforementioned Crystal Free solution, but also begin migrating to the more advanced manufacturing technologies and increase their products' compatibility with different NAND Flash components To attain these goals properly, the investment in technological and human resources will undoubtedly need to be greater now than it has ever been during the USB 20 era However, given that the size of the USB 30 flash drive market has not been expanding as expected and that it has become increasingly more difficult for the investment efficiency of USB 30 controller IC to support the cost of developing next gen products, more and more manufacturers are beginning to face increased pressure on the business end The controller IC solutions developed by Innostor, Phison, and Silicon Motion are currently the choices favored by most UFD manufacturers These three companies currently have a combined market share of 85-90%Due to the persistent draining of their financial resources, the uncertainties within the market, and the aforementioned three manufacturers’ continuous promotion of their USB 30 Crystal Free solutions, an increasing number of vendors have begun to contemplate steering away from the controller IC market, while only a few are believed to be capable of competing effectively Taking into account the aforementioned development, TrendForce believes the USB 30 controller IC market will soon end up being in a similar state as the market in the USB 20 era That is, only 5 to 6 major vendors are likely to be supplying the major controller IC products

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