Bloomberg BusinessWeek

China Solar Makers Face Suicidal Prices
Bloomberg BusinessWeek

Losses for China’s largest solar manufacturers, including Suntech Power Holdings Co. and JA Solar Holdings Co. may continue through next year as declining shipments prompt them to slash prices and liquidate inventory.

Cell prices have fallen 59 percent since Dec. 27, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Seven Chinese companies reported lower gross margins since yesterday and three said margins have moved into negative territory, an unsustainable level, said Hari Chandra Polavarapu, an analyst at Auriga USA in New York.

“Liquidation is leading to suicidal pricing.” Polavarapu said in an interview today. There are too many solar companies in China, he said, and they are cutting prices to maintain share. Chinese solar manufacturers expanded capacity faster this year while demand growth slowed in Europe, the top regional market.

“Demand has not lived up to expectations and pricing has collapsed over the last three quarters,” Aaron Chew, an analyst at Maxim Group LLC in New York, said today in an interview. “Most of the major cell, wafer and module manufacturers are poised to report four quarters in a row of losses and this is just the first one.”

Le 15 septembre 2009, Thomas Friedman écrivait dans le New York Times: « China has decided that clean-tech is going to be the next great global industry and is now creating a massive domestic market for solar and wind, which will give it a great export platform ». Ce n’est pas la première ni la dernière fois qu’un apôtre de l’énergie verte se trompe…