Although shipments of its cadmium telluride modules declined slightly over the previous quarter, it still exceeded all of its crystalline rivals.
According to IMS Research, the first quarter of 2010 was a record quarter once again for the PV module market, with shipments increasing by 3% over the previous quarter, marking four quarters of consecutive growth. Most suppliers are now fully utilising their ever expanding production capacities to fulfil soaring demand and Q2 2010 is forecast to continue this trend.
The battle of the major Chinese crystalline players continues, with five of the top 7 suppliers being large Chinese pure-play solar companies.
Although Trina Solar shipped more modules than Yingli Solar for the first time, the quarter was far from unsuccessful for Yingli, which enjoyed increased ASPs and an impressive gross margin of 33%.”After a year of plummeting prices, Yingli Solar was able to increase its average selling price during Q1", commented Sam Wilkinson, research analyst with IMS Research’s PV Group. “However, whilst its average price increased almost 9% over Q4 2009 (measured in Euros - where it continues to ship the majority of its modules), the devaluation of the euro meant it only realised a 2% increase in Renminbi (Chinese YUAN).”
The future of the Euro remains an ongoing concern for many Asian suppliers, with a further squeeze in margins likely in the second half of 2010.
The Q1 rankings
First Solar (8.4%);
Trina Solar (5.3%);
Canadian Solar (5.2%);
Sunpower Corp (3.4%);
Source - IMS Research