Tue, Feb 07, 2017 - Page 12 News List

Solar wafer prices likely to rebound on US subsidy program

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Solar wafer maker Green Energy Technology Inc (綠能) yesterday said rising solar wafer prices would extend its rebound in the first half of this year, as China and the US, the world’s two largest solar markets, are expected to launch solar subsidy programs.

The Taoyuan-based company’s comments came after solar wafer prices bounced back last month and brought its monthly revenue up 10.5 percent to NT$838 million (US$27 million), compared with NT$759 million in December last year.

“Average wafer selling prices increased gradually last month, especially prices for high-efficiency products,” Green Energy said in a company statement released yesterday.

To cope with improving demand, Green Energy kept its factories running during the Lunar New Year holidays, which helped the company keep equipment loading rates at 90 percent, it said.

Green Energy expects the positive sentiment to last at least two quarters.

“Sales prices are likely to increase in the first half of the year, with clearer [energy] policies from major markets, such as China and the US,” the company said.

Strength in the second half of the year will be mainly decided by demand from emerging markets, it said.

However, the positive sentiment in the solar wafer segment might not spread to the solar cell segment.

Solar cell maker Gintech Energy Corp (昱晶能源) yesterday posted a 14 percent monthly contraction in revenue for last month.

Revenue fell to NT$1.11 billion last month from NT$1.29 billion in December last year. That represented an annual decline of 36.74 percent from NT$1.75 billion.

Market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) said it expects solar cell manufacturers to experience a new-round of oversupply this year.

“Solar market demand is likely to repeat the same pattern as it did last year,” TrendForce analyst Kenny Ko (柯震宇) said in a report.

TrendForce gave a negative outlook for the global solar market as overall solar demand would be flattish at 70.3 gigawatts this year, compared with 69.5 gigawatts last year, the researcher said in a separate report.

Prices across the supply chain could fall drastically in the second half of the year due to severe oversupply, the report said.

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