Trade Resources Industry Views China PV Module Shipments Increased 26% in Q2 of 2014

China PV Module Shipments Increased 26% in Q2 of 2014

Solar photovoltaic (PV) module shipments from the leading China companies increased 26% on quarter in the second quarter of 2014, compared to the previous quarter when they shipped 5.2GW of solar modules. Nearly three-quarters (71%) of all PV module shipments came from the top 20 module suppliers to the solar PV industry, according Solarbuzz.

"China solar module suppliers dominate the global top 20 supply group, and the amount of solar modules shipped by them last quarter was the highest quarterly level ever reached," said Ray Lian, senior analyst at Solarbuzz. "This growth comes at a time when trade disputes are creating obstacles for China solar suppliers, which suggests that strategies to address the regional markets are being successfully implemented."

Having had a very strong first-quarter 2014, solar modules shipped by leading Japan PV module suppliers decreased in the second quarter, due to seasonal weakness in the Japan end-market, following incentive declines on April 1, 2014. Sharp Solar was the global leader for solar PV shipments in first-quarter 2014, with more than 730MW; however, Sharp Solar's shipments declined by more than 50% during the second quarter.

Leading China module suppliers-Trina Solar, Canadian Solar, Jinko Solar, and JA Solar-are forecast to report new records for quarterly module shipments achieved last quarter. Including also Yingli Green Energy and Renesola, the top six global module suppliers by shipment volume in the second quarter were all China-based companies.

To address the barriers imposed by trade disputes against China solar products, companies have decided to outsource supply from overseas. Leading China supplier Renesola is currently the most active company engaged in outsourcing, with about half of its module production outsourced to original equipment manufacturing (OEM) partners.

"Renesola's outsourcing strategy has made it the leading market supplier to Europe, Australia, and India, during the past 12 months," added Lian. "Another China supplier, Canadian Solar, also expanded its module facility in Canada, while increasing shipments to its own downstream projects and to Japan, where Canada Solar's brand awareness has recently improved."

Within the US market, the leading China suppliers shipped more than 1GW of modules in the second quarter, ahead of the recent preliminary trade announcement from the US Department of Commerce. During the trailing twelve-month period to second-quarter 2014, shipments to the US from China supplier Trina Solar exceeded those of SunPower, and nearly equaled shipments from leading US PV market suppliers First Solar and Yingli Green Energy.

The domestic solar PV market in China is also becoming increasingly important for China module suppliers. Yingli Green Energy, Trina Solar, and Jinko Solar have been the top three suppliers to China in the past 12 months, followed by Hareon Solar, Suntech, and JA Solar.

"Leading China solar module suppliers continue to have opportunities to increase shipment volumes," Lian said. "With their domestic market in China forecast to exceed 10GW in second-half 2014, different supply strategies are likely to emerge to address local and overseas markets."

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Leading China Solar PV Module Suppliers Continue to Increase Market Share, Despite Global Trade Disputes, Says Solarbuzz
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