Chinese module price hike fears allayed

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The costs of most Chinese module types increased only slightly in March 2013 despite market uncertainties caused by an investigation into Chinese modules by the European Commission, according to online marketplace pvXchange.

The company said that while prices were adjusted upwards for the first few days following the EC's call for registration of Chinese solar products imported into Europe, module prices have generally fallen back to previous levels or at least stabilised. Increases average only €0.01 to €0.02 compared to the previous month. Long-term supply agreements were not included in this data.

Georg Urban, head of sales, pvXchange told PV-Tech that the industry should still remain cautious: “The slightly increased sales price for solar modules itself was not the most relevant factor for the cancellations. 

“At the moment the risk associated with duty-unpaid goods is incalculably high, thus the economic viability of already planned projects is not secured and unpredictable. Therefore many buying decisions had to be revised or postponed indefinitely. In many cases financing commitments from banks and investors were withdrawn. Now projects have to be recalculated based on the prices of duty-paid or European goods.”

However, Martin Schachinger of pvXchange was a little more optimistic: “Why could the industry very quickly recover from the initial shock? Simple: Necessity is the mother of invention. In addition, due to the frequent ups and downs in recent years, the PV industry is somewhat jaded. It quickly finds loopholes and flexible solutions for every situation.”

pvXchange’s data also noted that Japanese crystalline silicon (c-Si) PV module prices fell slightly, perhaps as a result of more companies entering the Japanese market.

PV-Tech revealed last month that the commission’s anti-dumping investigation and subsequent module registration resulted in distributors, project developers and installers to alter purchasing decisions because of fears they would be liable for retroactive duties.

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