Thanks to stabilizing prices and new orders gained from the trade war between China and Europe, Neo Solar Power Corp (新日光) likely returned to profit last quarter from a loss of NT$488 million (US$16.3 million) in the first quarter, ending eight straight quarters of losses, a top executive said yesterday.
The nation’s top solar cell maker’s bottom line is likely to continue improving this quarter due to synergy from its merger with another local solar firm, DelSolar Co (旺能光電), and increased orders, chief executive officer Sam Hong (洪傳獻) told reporters on the sidelines of a solar conference organized by NPD SolarBuzz.
Taiwanese solar companies could further benefit if the EU decides to impose a 20 percent tariff on solar cells from China, Hong added.
Last month, the European Commission levied a preliminary two-month punitive tariff of 11.8 percent on solar cells imported from China due to dumping and illegal subsidies.
The EU is scheduled to unveil its latest ruling on the issue on Aug. 8.
Pan Wen-whe (潘文輝), president of solar cell maker Gintech Energy Corp (昱晶), also expects the EU-China trade war to give a boost to Taiwanese firms.
“The ruling will increase the odds of a price hike, should the EU decide to raise the tariff rate to between 20 percent and 30 percent to narrow the price gap between Chinese and European-made solar cells,” Pan said at the same conference in Taipei.
“The first quarter should be the worst period,” Pan said. “I’m optimistic about the third quarter. [Order] visibility will extend into the fourth quarter.”
Gintech posted a loss of NT$487 million in the quarter ending March 31.
In the first half of the year, Taiwanese solar cell shipments increased 6.7 percent year-on-year to 3.2 gigawatts, as Chinese companies sold Taiwanese-made solar cells to circumvent the EU’s tariffs, Taipei-based market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) said in a report released on Monday.
About 40 percent of those shipments were exported to China, TrendForce said.
Global solar cell demand is expected to grow 17 percent to 35 gigawatts this year from 30 gigawatts last year, led by demand in Japan, the US and Germany, NPD SolarBuzz said.