Second quarter solar module shipments reach 3.7GW: First Solar losing ground

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According to the latest figures from IMS Research, PV module shipments reached 3.7GW in the second quarter and generated US$7.1 billion in revenues. This was the fifth consecutive quarter for increased module shipments, according to the market research firm. Solar module shipments are forecast to increase again in the third quarter, reaching a forecasted 4.3GW. However, IMS Research noted that module shipment share from First Solar decreased for the fifth consecutive quarter and the gap between it and its crystalline competitors closed further due to limited capacity expansion capability until 2011.

IMS Research also noted that the five largest Chinese module manufacturers (Suntech, Trina, Yingli, Canadian Solar and Solarfun), continued to increase their command of the market and their combined share of global shipments reached 28% in the first quarter.

Total PV module shipments will grow by 60% in 2010, while First Solar is only expected to increase shipments by 20% this year.

“In contrast to the first half of 2009, when declining module prices and poor economic conditions stalled the market, current market conditions have led to huge a huge surge with PV module shipments in Q1’10 increasing by over 60% compared to the same quarter of the previous year,” commented Research Analyst, Sam Wilkinson. “PV module suppliers are undoubtedly enjoying this surge in demand and results have improved significantly. We predict that average gross margins will reach over 30% this quarter.”

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