Taiwan-based solar cell producers generated record shipments of around 5.5GW in 2012, according to EnergyTrend, a market research division of research firm, TrendForce.
However, the weak pricing environment due to overcapacity led to total revenue decline of between 25 – 50%.
Leading the pack were Motech and Gintech, which were said to have both exceeded shipments of over 1GW in 2012. Only Motech had achieved such shipment levels in 2011, according to EnergyTrend.
The four leading players, Motech, Gintech, Neo Solar Power (NSP) and Solartech accounted for 67% of total shipments last year.
However, Topcell, DelSolar, and Tainergy were also successful in shipping around 300 – 350MW of solar cells each during 2012.
In contrast to previous years, the first-half of the year proved to be the strongest for shipments. The market research firm said that the shipment ratio was approximately 55% for the first-half of 2012 and 45% in the second-half of the year.
EnergyTrend expects that Taiwan’s solar cell shipments in 2013 to break the 2012 record, due to trade disputes in the US and EU against Chinese module manufacturers but also the growth in the Japanese market as domestic module manufacturers rely heavily on cells produced in Taiwan.
However, EnergyTrend expects pricing pressure to continue in 2013, resulting in revenue’s remaining near 2012 levels.