Thu, Jan 03, 2013 - Page 13 News List

Oversupply cuts sales in half at Solartech Energy

SILVER LINING:Although falling prices last year hit local firms hard, disputes between China and the US and Europe could lead to an increase in demand

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Solar cell maker Solartech Energy Corp (昇陽科技) yesterday reported that its consolidated revenue last month dropped 15.08 percent, and full-year sales were nearly half of the previous year because of oversupply.

Revenue slipped to NT$190 million last month, compared with NT$224 million a year earlier, a company filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange showed.

For the full year, revenue totaled NT$6.16 billion, down 49.39 percent from NT$12.18 billion in 2011, according to the filing.

The prices of solar cells rebounded in the third quarter last year, but plunged between 25 percent and 30 percent last year from a year earlier amid sluggish demand in Europe, according to TrendForce Corp (集邦科技).

However, the Taipei-based market researcher said that recent signs show that prices have bottomed out, as prices did not fall further despite slower demand.

It forecast that continuing trade disputes between China, the world’s biggest solar exporter, and its major markets, the US and Europe, would boost demand for Taiwanese solar products in the first half of this year, thereby lending some support to prices.

The price stability “will bring some breathing space for solar companies,” TrendForce said, adding that manufacturers are trying to drive down costs by advancing technologies.

However, prices are expected to fall again in the second half of the year due to overcapacity, it said.

Shares in Solartech fell 1.54 percent to NT$19.15 yesterday in Taipei trading. Local peers Motech Industry Inc (茂迪) and Neo Solar Power Corp (新日光) slid 0.18 percent and 1.84 percent respectively, but Gintech Energy Corp (昱晶) rose 0.37 percent.

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