The ‘China Sourcing Report: Solar Panels' report shows 88% of suppliers plan to decrease or keep prices stable, while only 12% plan to increase prices, although the polysilicon shortage is expected to continue until 2009.The study also shows that most manufacturers are implementing measures to streamline production, which includes expanding to gain economies of scale, backward integration and R&D to produce thinner solar cells that require less polysilicon. Survey respondents also noted that they are planning to lower production costs by reducing waste, increasing automation and upgrading management systems. Others plan to focus on vertical integration and decreasing defects to improve manufacturing efficiency.
"Manufacturers are generally optimistic, with 97% expecting exports to increase over the next 12 months. However, with excess capacity in the high double-digits, a larger number of suppliers are reducing prices to gain orders," according to Spenser Au, report publisher, in a statement.
The biggest concerns cited by suppliers for the next 12 months include price competition and raw material costs. Other concerns include stricter overseas standards, design copying and labour shortages.