Taiwan: solar energy product prices unlikely to rebound in 2013

Taipei, Jan. 3 (CNA) The price of solar energy products is unlikely to rebound in 2013 as the market remains haunted by supply gluts that have pushed prices down sharply in the past year, a research report said Thursday.

TrendForce, a Taiwan-based market information advisory firm, said in the report that the impact of price competition will fade to some extent in the first half of this year due to the already steep decline in prices, helping suppliers to catch their breath.

However, a new price war is expected to break out in the second half of the year as suppliers, who still have plenty of production capacity, are eager to grasp a larger share in the market, which could make it impossible for product prices recover this year, TrendForce said.

Throughout 2012, the global solar energy market was hurt by escalating price cutting strategies adopted by suppliers to win purchase deals, the advisory firm said.

Among the products that dropped dramatically in price in the past year, poly-silicon wafer suffered the steepest decline of 40.8 percent, while solar cells and solar modules fell by 25-30 percent, according to TrendForce.

Meanwhile, TrendForce said demand for solar energy products in Asia is expected to exceed that in the U.S. and European markets as governments in the Asian region are keen to develop the clean energy energy industry by doling out incentives.

The advisory firm said it expects Asia will account for 44 percent of global demand, while Europe will be next with 36 percent and the U.S. third with 20 percent.

In light of the urgent need for consolidation to deal with oversupply, more mergers and acquisitions among solar cell manufacturers are possible in 2013, TrendForce said.

It said it is watching closely whether inter-regional consolidation in the solar cell segment will take place this year.

In 2012, there were only two major merger and acquisition deals in the solar cell business — one between China-based Hanwha SolarOne and Q-Cells of Germany, and the other between Neo Solar Power and DelSolar in Taiwan.

Source: Focus Taiwan

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