According to the market intelligence firm, JinkoSolar took the lead in global module shipments, having shipped 4.8 GW of product, followed by JA Solar and Longi Solar.
In line with the rapid upscale of its mono products, Longi Solar climbed from position seven, to third place in the first half of 2018. It was also the top Chinese company for domestic shipments, followed by GCL Integration and JinkoSolar.
PV InfoLink said module demand for H1 reached around 45 GW, however the Chinese market will see demand reduced by around 20 GW following the 31/5 policy.
On the cell side, Chinese companies Tongwei and Aiko took the top two spots. Aiko brought several GW of new capacity online in 2017, while Tongwei is also progressing with major expansions to its cell capacity, meaning these two companies will likely remain leaders in cell shipment.
Taiwan’s cell makers have operated at reduced capacity for much of this year, with only Motech appearing in the top 5. The new company coming from the upcoming merger between NSP, Gintech and Solartech, however, is likely to make the top 5 list for cell shipments, according to PV InfoLink.
Furthermore, India’s 25% safeguard duty may cause a reduction in demand in domestic market demand, while demand for the European market is still unclear in the run up to the minimum import price (MIP) decision, expected on September 3.
Trade wars are also affecting both the global, and the U.S. industry. Taking into consideration all of these negative factors, PV InfoLink has reduced its outlook for total solar PV demand to 83 GW.
The agency also reveals that the concentration of the market is growing. It estimates that the shipment of top 10 manufacturers will occupy about 67% of total demand, which is much higher than the 55% share seen last year
Benefitting from better cost performance, mono products have gradually gained in recognition and popularity and are now widely used in China’s inland market. This trend is spreading outside of China.
In the next phase of China’s Top Runner Program, P-type and N-type mono products bid for over 85% of the total 5 GW of capacity up for grabs.
Along with the price drop of mono cell and mono modules, PV products based on mono-crystalline technology are expected to capture around 47% of total market, compared with just 28% in 2017. This is set to grow to around 60% in the following several years.
However, PV InfoLink said the total PV market will be in a low ebb between Q3 2018 to Q2 2019, without strong policy encouragement.
By: Vincent Shaw