The PV glass price rollercoaster


The raw materials price volatility which has afflicted the solar industry this year has been reflected in a string of positive “profit warnings” from Chinese group Xinyi.

In an update to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange yesterday, PV panel glassmaker Xinyi Solar told shareholders first-half net profits are expected to at least double, compared to the HK$1.41 billion (US$182 million) previously anticipated.

While the news will be welcomed by investors, Xinyi Solar pointed out the rise in average selling prices for solar glass witnessed – compared to the first six months of last year – would lift profits despite the fact prices have fallen “substantially” in the current three-month window.

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With the solar glass price currently on the downward slope, Xinyi Solar warned: “The performance of the group’s solar glass segment for the remaining months of 2021 could be affected.”

Sister company Xinyi Energy also announced an uplift in solar electricity revenues thanks to solar projects it has acquired since July, with its net profits for the first six months of this year expected to come in 25-40% higher than the HK$438 million predicted.

But it was the performance of the solar glass business controlled by Xinyi Glass shareholders which was cited as one of two contributors to an anticipated 260-290% uplift in first-half net profits at the float glass maker, which is effectively Xinyi Solar's parent.

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Whilst rising income from float glass sales was also mentioned, photovoltaic products will contribute significantly to a thumping rise in profit to HK$4.98-5.39 billion (US$642-694 million).

The Xinyi updates came hours after fellow Chinese manufacturer Flat Glass announced plans to issue up to RMB4 billion (US$625 million) worth of convertible bonds, with RMB2.8 billion (US$437 million) of the proceeds earmarked for solar glass production and distributed solar project capacity.

Flat Glass said the proposed fundraising exercise, which will be voted on by shareholders at its AGM, would generate RMB1.95 billion towards the RMB2.39 billion cost of a solar glass factory to make 750,000 tons per year of ultra thin, ultra high transparent products. Some RMB197 million (US$30.8 million) would pay most of the RMB207 million cost of a fab to produce 15 million square meters of solar PV ultra white glass, and RMB658 million (US$103 million) would be put towards RMB665 million worth of solar generation capacity.

With the figures rounded off by pv magazine, Flat Glass said RMB1.2 billion from the bond issue would be added to its working capital.

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