According to Ellen Kullman, chair of the board and chief executive officer of DuPont, overall global PV module production is set to decline around 15% in the second quarter.
Kullman noted that the expected decline was in contrast to the second quarter of 2012, which experienced a strong uptick in production in anticipation of stronger sales in the second half of the year. However, increased demand was muted and the production surge created an inventory build.
Responding to analyst questions during a conference call to discuss first quarter 2013 financial results, the executive noted that the fall in production in the second quarter is expected to lead to sequential quarterly growth through the second-half of the year, though its internal forecast for module production year-on-year would be flat.
“Now the second quarter of last year was a very strong year,” commented Kullman. "There was lot of over production in hindsight in that second quarter and that's why this year were stating that in the second quarter that's going to be off some, 15%, the module production will be off 15%. Worse we are forecasting the PV installed will be flat for the year, and so what that means is there has to be some progression coming through the year and it will improve in the third quarter and improve again in the fourth quarter.”
DuPont reported that its Electronics & Communications segment, which includes its photovoltaics business units has first quarter 2013 sales of US$616 million, 9% decline 9% from the previous quarter due to lower photovoltaics related sales.
However, DuPont claimed market share gains, yet these were offset by reduced material usage by module manufacturers. Operating earnings were US$49 million, down US$10 million on the back of lower sales.