Expected cuts to the feed-in tariff in Japan and import duties imposition in the EU are generating a higher than anticipated pull-in of factory module orders, according to EnergyTrend, a market research division of TrendForce.

The Japanese market has built momentum since a new FiT was introduced in April, 2012. The expected revisions to the FiT have generated a rush to complete projects before the changes, noted EnergyTrend.

The increasing belief that the EU will impose anti-dumping duties on Chinese-made modules, coupled to the possibility of retroactive action has also generated increased factory order rates in January in an effort to beat duties.

Stronger than expected demand as well as an expected imposition of new duties on imported polysilicon into China has resulted in polysilicon spot market prices increasing 5.79% last week to US$16.887/kg, up from US$15.00/kg the week before.

Historically, the first quarter of each year experiences weak overall demand due to winter weather conditions in Northern Europe. However, the globalisation of the industry and strong government support in China and Japan is shifting demand and therefore demand cycles as Europe backs away from PV incentives.