Shares in solar-cell maker Gintech Energy Corp (昱晶) plunged during trading in Taipei yesterday, closing limit-down after the US International Trade Commission on Friday said the imports of Chinese and Taiwanese solar panels are injuring US makers.
Other solar-power firms also saw their shares drop significantly yesterday amid negative sentiment toward their business outlook as the US Department of Commerce is to proceed with investigations into alleged dumping practices used by Chinese and Taiwanese producers, as well as a subsidy accusation against Chinese firms.
The US government is scheduled to make its preliminary determinations on anti-subsidy duties on March 26 and on anti-dumping levies on June 9.
Shares in Gintech declined by the 7 percent daily limit, closing at NT$27.8, with 11.82 million shares changing hands.
Smaller rivals Solartech Energy Corp (昇陽) and Tainergy Tech Co (太極), as well as solar-wafer maker Sino-American Silicon Products Inc (SAS, 中美晶) also ended by the maximum daily limit at NT$22.9, NT$23.9 and NT$50.1 respectively.
“Taiwanese solar companies may suffer detrimental consequences following the US anti-dumping and countervailing process,” Capital Securities Corp (群益證券) analyst Austin Chen (陳執中) said in a research note.
First Capital Management Inc (第一金證券投顧) also said the market is watching the solar firms’ orders closely in the near term, as the US government’s anti-dumping tariffs against Taiwanese makers that could be announced in June are retroactive to 90 days before the rates are announced and can potentially impact on their orders for next month.
“The growing uncertainties over March orders could force Taiwanese firms to face more price pressures from their customers going forward,” First Capital said in a separate note.
Other solar shares also saw their prices fall on the unfavorable news, with Neo Solar Power Corp (新日光) down 6.79 percent at NT$34.3, Green Energy Technology Inc (綠能) dropping 6.72 percent to NT$27.75, Motech Industries Inc (茂迪) dropping 6.34 percent to NT$49.45 and E-Ton Solar Tech Co (益通) down 5.6 percent lower at NT$16.85, compared with the TAIEX’s 0.07 percent rise.
The US government’s action came as the global demand for solar photovoltaic (PV) products is forecast to grow 17.98 percent this year to 41.84 gigawatts from last year, when demand expanded 14.05 percent to 35.47 gigawatts, Capital Securities said, citing European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) data.
Solar demands in China and Japan are set to increase to 10 gigawatts and 8 gigawatts respectively this year from 7 gigawatts each last year, while those in the US could grow to 5.2 gigawatts this year from 4.4 gigawatts last year, EPIA data showed.
However, PV demand in Europe is likely to drop to 11.29 gigawatts from 12.14 gigawatts last year, as European governments may continue slashing subsidies on solar firms, according to EPIA.
Capital Securities said Gintech could still swing into profit this year from an estimated net loss of NT$620 million last year, thanks to the bullish demand from China, Japan and the US, despite uncertainties over the anti-dumping probes.
With Japan and the US accounting for 80 percent of the firm’s total shipments, Gintech is forecast to grow shipments by 14.2 percent year-on-year this year under the condition of minimal impacts from the US government action, Chen said.