Market Analysis

Market Analysis October 2012 - Increased activity on the global PV market

Like last month, September began with slightly lower prices. This time, however, both Tier-1 and Tier-2 manufacturers were affected alike. This downward trend was reinforced in the course of the month which was especially due to the efforts of suppliers to clear their old stocks at quarter end. After these clearance sales and in line with rising global demand, the average prices slightly increased again in the last week of September. In total, the values of our price index in September continue to be below previous month's values. The only exception to this is the category of "thin-film CdS / CdTe” where prices remained stable.

Repeatedly, crystalline modules saw a stronger price decrease compared to thin-film modules. The sharpest decline was observed in the "Crystalline China" category with 4.9%. For the first time since June 2010, a value for crystalline modules is lower at 0.58 € / Wp compared to a value for thin-film modules at 0.59 € / Wp ("thin-film CdS / CdTe"). We don't expect this trend to change within this year. On the contrary, we believe an even greater price difference will be observed until the end of the year. Since the beginning of 2012, the values for the category "Crystalline China" decreased by 26.6%. By the end of the year, the price decline is very likely to add up to more than 30%. Compared to September 2011, the price is down by 40.7%, but it is unlikely that the very sharp decline in prices experienced at the end of 2011 will be repeated in 2012 and we therefore expect the full year price development to be in the range of approximately -35%.

As expected, the price decline in the category "Crystalline Germany" slowed down in September and resulted in a 2.3% reduction. Since the beginning of the year, prices fell by 19.6% and the average price now stands at 0.86 € / Wp – a 35.5% drop compared to September 2011. Since July 2012, when the price decline reached an all-time high with 40%, the price decline slowed down and this should settle towards 30% at the end of the year.

The highest value in our price index continues to be the category "Crystalline Japan". The value declined by 2.2% compared to August and the average value this month comes in at 0.89 € / Wp. Compared to January, the value has fallen this year only 15.2% and has thus far seen the lowest depreciation with exception of the category "thin-film CdS / CdTe". Compared to the previous year, the price has declined by 29.6%. We expect that this value will fall by the end of the year to about 25% and due to the lowest price decline among crystalline modules, the category "Crystalline Japan" will have the highest value in the price index.

In all three categories for thin-film modules, the monthly price decline was lower than for crystalline modules. Since March 2012, we didn't observe any significant monthly price movements in the category "thin film CdS / CdTe" and the slight downward movement towards the middle of the month was reversed at the end of the month.  The price trend since the beginning of the year adds up to -13.2% and the average price remains at the August level of 0.59 € / Wp. With a decline of 2%, the value for the category of “thin-film a-Si" reached 0.49 € / Wp in September and is the first value in our index to be below 0.50 € / Wp. Since January 2012, the price decline is 18.3%. With a weaker price decline compared to the previous month, the value in the category "thin-film a-Si/μ-Si" fell by 1.8% to 0.56 € / Wp. The price development since the beginning of the year in this category is currently at -26.3%.

Overall, we don't expect any significant price movements in all six categories of the price index for the month of October.