Taiwan’s solar cell prices fall more than 2% on weak demand

Prices of Taiwan-made multi-crystalline silicon solar cells have dropped more than 2 percent this week as global demand remained slow, the Taipei-based market information advisory firm TrendForce Corp. (????) said Thursday.

Trendforce said the average price of Taiwan's multi-crystalline silicon solar cells fell US$0.224 per watt, or 2.61 percent, from a week earlier on the spot market.

So far this month, the prices of some types of solar cells have dropped 11.8 percent after an 8.96 percent decline in July, Trendforce said.

Market analysts said the continued decline in solar cell prices in Taiwan was a reflection of the fragile global solar energy market.

The market had been anticipating that demand in China would pick up in the third quarter of the year but that has not happened as many Chinese buyers have put their purchasing plans on hold, waiting for government subsidies, analysts said.

In addition, demand in the United States, Japan and Europe has remained weak, further undermining the pricing power of Taiwanese solar cell manufacturers, analysts said.

The situation is not limited to Taiwan, as the average price of China's multi-crystalline silicon solar cells fell US$0.221 per watt or 2.64 percent this week from last week, according to Trendforce.

In July, China's multi-crystalline silicon solar cell prices dropped 9.38 percent and so far this month have declined another 11.95 percent.

Taiwan and China are the world's two major solar cell suppliers.

Due to the falling product prices, Solartech Energy Corp. (????), one of the leading solar cell makers in Taiwan, has cut production, lowering its capacity utilization ratios to 70-80 percent.

Gintech Energy Corp. (??), another Taiwanese solar cell maker, is studying the feasibility of lower production.

In the first two months of the year, many Taiwanese solar cell makers were at production capacity but as the market slowed they were forced to lower their production capacity utilization ratios, analysts said.

Due to the lower solar cell production worldwide, prices of multi-crystalline silicon wafers in the spot market fell 3.48 percent this week, TrendForce said.

It said prices of solar energy products are likely to fall further in September and continue into the fourth quarter amid slow global demand.

Source: Focus Taiwan