US anti-dumping investigation may affect Taiwan cell makers
EnergyTrend, a research arm of TrendForce, has revealed that the total amount of PV installation in 2013 was 4.3GW, in which 90 percent (around 3GW) of modules were from China. Although it cost $0.7/W for Chinese modules shipped to US, the cost was very close to the minimum price set between EU-China. However, due to the Chinese government's great support towards the PV industry these years, Chinese makers can sell relatively low-priced products as they are under deficit. It's projected that US has a moderate chance of establishing the case, added the market research company.
"Although the Taiwan government didn't provide PV subsidy plans (e.g. financial support, tax incentive and export tax rebate) and Taiwan manufacturers' average cell price was between $0.39-0.41/W, Taiwan cell manufacturers still turned around losses in 3Q13 due to the increased cell price. Yet, judging from previous experiences such as DRAM, steel and textile industry, the criterion for product dumping has to depend on whether manufacturers' sales price is lower than the cost. Basically, by definition, Taiwan manufacturers' sales practices meet that criterion of USA's anti-dumping. Hence, the government agencies and the industry should respond quickly and start collecting and analyzing relevant data based on SolarWorld's request. Through searching for conditions favorable to Taiwan in the future investigation, Taiwan's PV industry rights and future development can be maintained," said Arthur Hsu, research manager of EnergyTrend.
Judging from the spot market, although the market is uncertain due to USA's anti-dumping and countervailing investigation, they are still positive about the overall market condition. EnergyTrend believes that the price from poly to cell will continue to increase in the short run in January. Last week's average price came to $18.768/kg, a 1.46 percent rise. For multi-si wafers, supply shortage issue remained for high-efficiency products. Manufacturers have also revised the price upward, which caused spot price to continuously increase. Last week's average price reached $0.979/piece, a 0.93 percent rise.
For mono-si wafers, last week's average price was raised to $1.165/piece, a 0.17 percent rise. For cells, market demand and utilization rate remained high in January. Anti-dumping and countervailing investigation proposed by USA didn't impact cell price to go up again in January, with average price reaching $0.393/W, a 0.77 percent rise. For modules, last week's average price was $0.66/W, staying flat from last week. However, EnergyTrend estimates that price trend in the short run will fluctuate due to US' anti-dumping investigation.