Chinese Dominance in the PV Arena Continues

Suntech Power was the largest supplier of PV modules by shipment volumes for the second consecutive year, according to the latest market rankings released by IMS Research. For the first time, it was also joined by three other Chinese crystalline PV module manufacturers in the top five as Chinese manufacturers tightened their grip on the market, the analyst firm revealed.

According to IMS Research’s latest quarterly report, despite challenging market conditions throughout 2011, Suntech became the first supplier to ship over 2 GW of modules, and topped IMS Research’s module rankings for the second year in a row. The only non-Chinese manufacturer ranked in the top five was US-based thin film supplier First Solar which was ranked as second largest supplier, also for the second year running. Chinese suppliers Yingli, Trina and Canadian Solar (considered as a Chinese supplier as the majority of its operations are based in China) all gained one place in the rankings to make up the rest of the top five, displacing Japan’s Sharp to sixth position.

IMSThe market research firm said that although 8 of the 10 largest suppliers saw annual shipments increase more than 10%, most producers had actually recorded lower shipments in Q4’11 compared to the previous quarter.

Canadian Solar and Trina Solar were amongst the few suppliers that actually increased shipments in Q4’11, with Canadian Solar became the third largest supplier in the quarter and increasing its annual market share by over 1%.

Switching to prices for 2012 and according to Bloomberg as reported by Natalie Obiko Pearson this morning: Solar panel prices will stop falling after a slump last year pushed them to unprofitable levels, forcing producers to cut output, according to Deutsche Bank AG.

“Prices are close to a bottom,” Vishal Shah, a New York- based managing director and solar analyst for the bank, said in the western Indian city of Jaipur today. “They’ve stabilized across the supply chain because companies are losing money.” Prices fell 47 percent in 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Read complete story here….