Sales of PV equipment and components by German-based suppliers fell 43% in the third quarter of 2012 compared to the same period a year ago, German trade association VDMA has said.
VDMA noted that on a regional basis, 74% of total sales were generated in Asia but sales were actually down 46% compared to the previous year period in the region. Exports from Germany accounted for 83% of total shipments, according to the VDMA.
On a segment basis, solar cell equipment accounted for the largest share with almost 70% of sales in the quarter attributed to this segment. Crystalline silicon-based PV module equipment accounted for 11% of sales in Q3 2012, while wafering equipment, including polysilicon equipment only accounted for 4% of sales.
However, the thin-film segment, despite market conditions for the sector, accounted for 15% of sales. Thin-film module manufacturers such as First Solar continue to invest in R&D and line upgrades to improve conversion efficiencies and lower manufacturing costs.
VDMA also noted that order intake had also declined significantly (39%) compared to the previous year.
German-based suppliers were said to control 50% of the global market.