Anti-dumping and Anti-countervailing Decision Unexpected, Manufacturers Treading Carefully
Last Friday’s (May 18) results for the preliminary ruling on the U.S. anti-dumping and anti-countervailing case against China were not what the PV industry expected, and Chinese manufacturers were caught off guard by the news, resulting in delayed price negotiations for June. According to EnergyTrend, a research division of TrendForce, related vendors indicate 2HMay and June price negotiations are still taking place.
As the decision was in regards to solar cells from China, module products imported to the U.S. must use non-China solar cells to evade the tariffs – Taiwan stands to benefit the most from the situation. According to TrendForce research, there have been rumors of Taiwanese solar cell manufacturers raising prices for outsourced production, but as of yet no one has officially done so. Vendors indicate that although the U.S. PV market is in the spotlight this year, it only accounts for 10% of the global PV market, so the effect of the recent ruling on price remains to be seen. On the other hand, whether or not Europe follows suit on the ruling will be important – together, the U.S. and Europe represent over 50% of the global PV market, enough to have decisive influence over global PV prices.
However, prices have been low lately and both polysilicon suppliers and thin film makers are feeling the pressure. Recently there has been news of Auria Solar seeing weak turnover and Inventux filing for bankruptcy. Additionally, there are rumors that Green Energy Technology is planning to close down its thin film business. Green Energy has denied the rumor, but with the current prices, vendors are undeniably struggling. Under the current circumstances, TrendForce believes manufacturers without healthy operations will likely be eliminated within a year or two.
As for this week’s spot prices, since there still has not been much price quoting activity from manufacturers due to the anti-dumping and anti-countervailing rulings as well as the SNEC exhibition, prices changed only slightly. Polysilicon spot price saw the greatest adjustment this week, to US$21-23. Average polysilicon price was US$22.175/kg, a decrease of 2.12% compared to last week. As for silicon wafers, price has not changed much as manufacturers indicate they are waiting to see the effects of the anti-dumping and anti-countervailing results. This week’s multi-Si wafer price was US$1.065, a decrease of 1.02%, while mono-Si wafer price was US$1.52, a 2% decline. Solar cell price was US$0.457/Watt, a 1.08% decrease, while module price was US$0.746/Watt, a 1.19% decrease. Additionally, thin film price fell due to rumors and environmental factors – the average was US$0.735/Watt, a 2.13% decrease. This week’s inverter price fell by 1.7% to US$0.231/Watt.