The global solar industry saw an uptick in shipments and firmer prices in June, according to a report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

After two years of overcapacity and consolidation in the global PV business, BNEF said the trends indicated there was strong global demand for solar worldwide and predicted steady growth in 2013.

The report, based on a survey of leading manufacturers, said one reason for June’s encouraging news was the ongoing influence of Japan’s booming PV market. Japan has been widely billed as being the world’s biggest market in revenue terms this year, with up to 9.4GW of new capacity expected in 2013.

Another reason for the upswing in June BNEF said was a rush by Chinese manufacturers to ship products to Europe ahead of the punitive anti-dumping tariffs the EC had threatened to introduce from August 6.

According to BNEF’s solar shipment index, shipments from China outstripped manufacturing capacity, with leading manufacturers making shipments corresponding to 116% of manufacturing utilisation capacity. On overage BNEF said Chinese manufacturers were running at 99% capacity and Taiwanese at 84%, although it said these figures were based primarily on tier one and two companies' data.

Jenny Chase, head of solar analysis at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said: “These data show that there is strong global demand for the PV products of the largest manufacturers, despite uncertainty and the flow of bad news from the global solar market. Consolidation continues, but 2013 will still be a year of growth for the industry as a whole.”

A separate report published yesterday by Deutsche Bank predicted an imminent upturn in the fortunes of the global PV industry as demand and supply begin to rebalance.