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PV demand remains high despite off-peak 4Q

04 Dec 2013

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EnergyTrend, a research division of TrendForce, has projected that PV demand will likely remain strong during off-peak season in the fourth quarter. The overall PV demand will also likely remain high in the first quarter of 2014. The market will demand more high-efficiency products, which may lead to supply shortage and increased price for high-efficiency products, according to the group. This may push wafer manufacturers to reconsider contract trading.

As indicated by EnergyTrend's investigation, wafer supply shortage started to appear in the end of October and the issue is not likely to be solved in the short run. Based on EnergyTrend's investigation, smaller manufacturers with better technology skills have mostly achieved full-production and price may continue to increase. Moreover, certain manufacturers reduce the use of OEM and switch to produce their own brands, and in turn make better profit. For example, Chinese manufacturers, such as Phoenix Solar and Dahai, have come to Taiwan to promote their own brands. Certain cell manufacturers even arranged products to go through validation process.

Besides, supply shortage will allow wafer manufacturers to search for better deals. Based on EnergyTrend's understanding, wafer manufacturers have gradually revised multi-si wafer price upward in the end of October. Over the past month, price has increased by 5 per cent for certain manufacturers. Looking into December price, wafer manufacturers may be able to continuously revise the price upward. Furthermore, it's projected that wafer supply shortage is likely to remain in 1Q14, with some manufacturers considering short-term contract trading. However, payment conditions, pricing methods, and client acceptance will be the critical factors to determine if this will work.

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