Mon, Jan 17, 2011 - Page 12 News List

Solar cell module prices expected to fall: TrendForce

NO SIGNS OF REVERSAL:Prices for polysilicon and solar wafers are forecast to drop as well, but supply constraints from this year will likely keep the declines on the mild side

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff Reporter

Global solar cell module prices are expected to fall to US$1.1 per watt in the next few weeks as weak demand left excessive inventory, which posing a challenge for companies in the industry to eke out profits, market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) said yesterday.

The indicated decline would be sharper than the US$1.25 per watt the Taipei-based researcher -projected for the first quarter.

The latest quote showed that the price of solar cell modules would decrease 1.64 percent to average US$1.2 per watt this week from the last update on Friday, according to TrendForce’s latest update released yesterday.

“Solar module makers said they have not seen significant signs for a reversal [to recent slowdowns] as demand stagnates and inventory digestion is slow,” TrendForce said in the report.

TrendForce forecast last month that supply for solar capacity would grow to as much as 25 gigawatts this year, exceeding demand of more than 15 gigawatts mostly from Europe.

“Pricing pressure remains [for the near future],” TrendForce said, citing comments from unspecified solar module manufacturers.

TrendForce expected prices to stabilize in the second half of next month as demand could recover.

In addition, TrendForce expected drops in prices for polysilicon and solar wafers, key raw materials for making solar cells, would be mild because of supply constraints this year, meaning moderate price declines in raw material would not offset solar module makers’ price erosion.

Prices of polysilicon and solar wafers are expected to slide 3.98 percent and 1.37 percent to US$69.9 per kilogram and to US$3.6 per unit respectively, TrendForce said.

Shares of Taiwan’s top solar cell maker Motech Industries Inc (茂迪) fell 7.3 percent in the final quarter of last year, even though revenues grew 9 percent to NT$12.8 billion (US$432 million) from NT$1.17 billion in the third quarter.

The benchmark TAIEX gained 8.92 percent in the fourth quarter from the previous quarter.

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