The US has seen a surge of Chinese and Taiwanese PV imports as companies seek to secure low-cost product ahead of the imposition of trade duties.
According to analysis from market research firm NPD Solarbuzz, the share of Chinese companies within the top-20 suppliers in the US almost doubled in the 12-month period ending Q2 2014 compared to that ending Q2 2013.
Writing in a blog post yesterday, Solarbuzz analyst Michael Barker said this was down to the scramble by US developers and Chinese manufacturers to get product into the country ahead of the preliminary anti-subsidy and anti-dumping rulings by the US government over the summer.
The consequence of those pending decisions meant that by the end of the second quarter of 2014 the share of Chinese companies within the top 20 suppliers in the US had increased by 18% to 58%. This was largely at the expense of US, Japanese and other suppliers not located in Asia, who saw their representation in the top 20 drop from 21 to 9%, according to Solarbuzz.
Barker said this highlighted that “trade disputes can impact the market though often in different ways than originally intended”.
Over the next few quarters Barker said the Chinese/Taiwanese shipment share was likely to decline, as downstream players work through current inventory levels and manufacturers await the US government’s final trade decision, which is expected in December 2014.
But Barker concluded that companies were unlikely to completely abandon the US market owing to its strong growth as a solar end market.