After several months of lacklustre sales from many key PV manufacturers in Taiwan, indicating an expected boom in China’s downstream PV market had yet to gain momentum, March sales data indicates improving market demand, yet not at the levels seen in the prior year quarter.
The monthly sales figures in March, 2017 and the first quarter of 2017, tentatively indicates a recovery in demand for a host of Taiwan-based solar companies. This would also seem to be inline with several major upstream Chinese manufacturers projecting China’s downstream demand will be near 2016 levels but more evenly distributed through the year and reaching around 30GW installed in 2017.
This would be in contrast to around 20GW installed in China in the first half of 2016 and around 13.5GW in the second half of the year.
However, demand would seem to have remained lacklustre in the first quarter, indicating key markets such as China and India had been soft during the period and contributed to continued ASP pressure across the supply chain.
Integrated PV manufacturer Sino-American Silicon (SAS) has reported sales increasing 17.36% month-on-month and over 100% higher from the prior year period.
SAS sales in March, 2017 were NT$5,145 million (US$168 million), compared to NT$4.384 billion (US$143.8 million) in February.
Unaudited first quarter 2017 sales were NT$13,576 million (US$443.3 million), compared to US$231.5 million in the prior year period.
Green Energy Technology
Multicrystalline wafer producer Green Energy Technology (GET) sales have trended moderately upwards since the beginning of 2017.
GET reported March, 2017 sales of NT$ 931 million, up 8.7% from the previous month when sales reached NT$857 million (US$28.1 million). Sales have increase the most in March during the first quarter of 2017.
The company noted that ingot/wafer production utilisation rates stood at 90% in March. GET also noted that demand in China would be better in the middle of the year.
Unaudited first quarter 2017 sales were NT$ 2,627,225 (US$87.78 million), down 50% from the prior year period.
Merchant solar cell and module producer Gintech Energy reported a reasonable increase in sales in March after sales were flat in the first two months of 2017.
Gintech sales in March, 2017 were NT$1,196 million US$39.05 million, a 7.1% increase compared to NT$1.116 billion (US$36.6 million) in the previous month and 30% down from the prior year period.
Unaudited first quarter sales were NT$3,417 million (US$111.58 million), compared to NT$4,883 million in the prior year period.
Merchant solar cell producer Solartech Energy Corp reported a slower growth rate in sales for March, compared to the 15% jump in February
Solartech reported March, 2017 sales of NT$459 million (US$14.98 million), up 2.32% from February sales of NT$449 million (US$14.73 million).
Unaudited sales for the first quarter of 2017 were NT1,296 million (US$42.32 million), down from NT$3,150 million in the prior year period.
E-Ton Solar Tech
Mono and multicrystalline solar cell producer E-Ton Solar Tech reported March sales down from the previous month.
E-Ton reported March, 2017 sales of NT$339.8 million (US$11.09 million), down almost 15% from February sales of NT$396.8 million (US$13 million).
Unuadited first quarter 2017 sales were around NT$1,041 million, compared to around NT$1,373 million in the first quarter of 2016.
GigaSolar Materials Corp
PV metallisation paste producer GigaSolar Materials Corp reported a strong increase in sales in March, up almost 33% from the previous month.
GigaSolar reported March, 2017 sales of NT$795.8 million (US$25.98 million), up from US$19.57 million in the previous month.
Unaudited first quarter sales were around NT$2,244 million (US$73.2 million), compared to NT$4,552 million (US$148.6 million) in the prior year period.