JinkoSolar cuts 2021 shipments guidance by up to 5.7GW, plots major n-type expansion

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JinkoSolar expects to finish Q1 2022 with 16GW of n-type cell manufacturing capacity. Image: JinkoSolar

JinkoSolar has slashed its shipments guidance for the year, reducing its top end guidance by more than 5GW as it blamed ongoing logistics issues and port blockages.

The ‘Solar Module Super League’ manufacturer has, however, unveiled a major n-type cell capacity expansion planned for next year, with Jinko intending to finish Q1 2022 with around 16GW of n-type cell capacity.

Reporting its Q3 2021 results today, JinkoSolar recorded total shipments for the quarter of 4.99GW, of which 4.67GW was PV module shipments. This fell marginally short of guidance for the quarter given during the manufacturer’s Q2 2021 results disclosure, caused primarily by weak cell and wafer shipments of just 322MW.

This takes total shipments of wafers, cells and modules for the year to date to 15.5GW. JinkoSolar is now forecasting for Q4 shipments to come in at between 7.3 – 8.8GW, resulting in a total full-year shipment guidance for 2021 of between 22.8 – 24.3GW.

It represents a substantial revision of the full year guidance of 25 – 30GW issues at the start of the year and reaffirmed by the SMSL member in August.

Shares in the solar manufacturer slipped by 6.77% in pre-market trading to US$52.20.

Xiande Li, chairman and chief executive officer at JinkoSolar, said that while more efficient new cell capacity had allowed the manufacturer to significantly cut its cell production costs in the quarter, partially offsetting increasing material prices, rising logistics costs had weighed heavy on the company’s performance.

“Total shipments were impacted by the delay in sales revenue recognition caused by logistical issues and blockages,” he said.

While shipping costs and logistical issues have plagued the solar PV sector this year, JinkoSolar has also been hit by well-documented problems servicing the US market. Shipments to the US were seized earlier this year relating to ongoing investigations by the US Customs and Border Protection relating to its Withhold Release Order against polysilicon products from Hoshine Silicon Industry, an issue the manufacturer discussed during its last results call.

At the time Li said the company was working to “increase the reliability of our services to the US market”, and the manufacturer has since confirmed the development of a 7GW solar wafer facility in Vietnam which is reportedly to use polysilicon originating from Germany’s Wacker Chemie.

JinkoSolar today confirmed that it expects the Vietnam facility to commence production in Q1 2022, and speaking to analysts during today’s conference call Li gave further colour. Li noted that it expected the Vietnam facility to ramp in early Q1 2022 and would be operation by January or February, contributing towards a full solar value chain operational outside of China by the end of the first quarter.

This would allow for the first non-China products to be shipped to the US in late H1 2022, in either May or June, before reaching mass volume in the second half of the year.

While JinkoSolar expects around 5GW of modules to be produced by the non-China value chain next year, ongoing shipping constraints could yet further stymie US market supply, Li added.

Total revenue for the reporting period came in at RMB8.57 billion (US$1.33 billion), in line with expectations but down 2.3% year-on-year, while gross profit fell 13.3% year-on-year to US$201.1 million.

JinkoSolar’s gross margin for the period was 15%, towards the top end of the company’s guidance.

It expects total revenues for Q4 to fall in the range of US$1.8 – 2.2 billion with a margin of between 13 – 16%.

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