Taiwanese solar power companies are to face increasing challenges starting next quarter due to rising output from Southeast Asian makers and falling average selling prices, Inventec Solar Energy Corp (英穩達) said.
Inventec Solar Energy’s “performance this quarter was still OK, but we expect the environment to become more challenging from next quarter,” chief executive officer Harry Hsieh (謝瑞海) told an investors’ conference in Taipei on Tuesday.
The company is an Inventec Corp (英業達) subsidiary whose revenue last year of NT$12.87 billion (US$394.48 million) accounted for 3.25 percent of its parent firm’s total revenue of NT$395.47 billion.
Hsieh said that last year, local solar-power companies benefited from the US Department of Commerce’s decision in July to raise anti-dumping taxes on Chinese solar makers to an average of 30.61 percent, while maintaining similar tariffs on Taiwanese products at 19.5 percent.
“The gross margin of Taiwanese solar products has continued to improve since the third quarter of last year through this quarter after the US government’s ruling and because of recovering demand worldwide,” Hsieh said.
However, Hsieh said that Southeast Asian makers, whose solar-power products are not subject to the same punitive tariffs, are widely expected to increase their output from next quarter.
“This will certainly affect our solar exports to the US, as Southeast Asian makers can offer more competitive prices to US clients, while Taiwanese products are burdened by high anti-dumping tariffs,” he said.
Hsieh said that compared with last year, solar-power product demand from Japan and Europe has begun to slow down this year.
Intensifying competition in the Chinese market also makes Inventec Solar Energy’s products more expensive than their Chinese rivals, given a depreciating yuan, he said.
Although several countries have raised their solar power installation targets this year, the changing industry landscape has caused a downside pressure on the average selling prices of solar products in global markets, he said.
“We still aim to maintain our profitability this year, despite some headwinds,” he said.
Inventec Solar Energy said it was on target to reach its production expansion plan, with annual capacity projected to reach 1,050 megawatts (MW) this quarter and expand to 1,350MW next quarter.
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