Equity analyst Jesse Pichel of investment bank Jeffries believes there is little sign of growing PV demand after attending the first day of Intersolar North America. In a research note to investors, Pichel cites weaker-than-expected market demand in the US, due to PV project developers and residential consumers waiting for PV prices to bottom.
Having had meetings with a range of downstream companies, Pichel said in the note that ‘psychology may be the largest factor as developers and consumers await pricing to bottom.’
With many companies in the upstream still operating at 100% utilization, inventory levels remained high, with the largest buyers of panels in the US quoting at least 7 weeks of inventory.
Although the US is growing in 2011, Pichel said that the pick-up is not enough to stop price declines.
In respect solar module pricing, Pichel noted that prices in the range of US$1.25-US$1.30 are currently the norm being quoted for the fourth quarter of 2011. However, leading module manufacturer Suntech was said to have guided price declines in the third quarter of this year would be greater than those experienced in the second quarter.