by Staff Writers
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Feb 28, 2013
Although production overcapacities are still influencing the market along the entire value chain, stock clearances have largely been successful. It is to be expected that in February for the first time in 24 months the module prices are not going to be lower than in the previous month. On the contrary, a minor increase is in sight, especially in higher performance classes. This particularly relates to products with crystalline cells as well as to thin film technologies.
Immediate availability is only guaranteed for less popular module types with lower efficiency at the moment. The continuing run on higher efficiency classes with reduced production capacities inescapably leads to longer delivery periods up to several weeks. Manufacturers and suppliers take advantage of this situation and revise their prices upward.
Jointly responsible for the overdemand is likely to be the strong Japanese market where especially Japanese manufacturers are able to sell their products at - from their point of view - very attractive prices.
These products are currently missing in other markets or are at least just available at small amounts. But also the further rise in demand in China shows an effect in spite of the unattractive margins at the moment. What leads to this maybe just temporary occurring trend of a shortage of popular brands and performance classes is the strong project business of Chinese manufacturers.
Stored quantities with lower efficiency rates as well as remainders of Tier 3 manufacturers can be bought for prices of the preceding year, but they should be sold off on the short term.
The spot market prices are going to rise gradually in this segment as well, although the range of available products is still enormous at the moment. It is definitely worth it to keep an eye on quality and origin of the products, because the production date quite often dates back many months.
There are also more top brand modules from decommissioning activities of non-connected large-scale power plants to come to the market.
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