Recent uncertainty over whether the United States would impose strict tariffs on Chinese and Taiwanese solar imports has had a dramatic impact on at least two Taiwanese companies, which both reported poor December revenues this week.
PV producer Motech Industries and Taiwan’s largest solar wafer manufacturer, Green Energy Technology (GET), both reported declines in sales in December.
The news comes as no real surprise, considering the level of uncertainty surrounding the US Department of Commerce trade investigation into Chinese and Taiwanese solar imports. This uncertainty came to a head in the middle of December, when the Department of Commerce (DoC) announced plans to impose hefty duties on Chinese and Taiwanese solar PV imports, at a base rate of 165%, plus further company-specific rates which could push tariffs up well over 200%.
Much too late for December financials, however, the US DoC is now investigating softening these tariffs, at least on Chinese solar imports, but that story is well away from being finalised.
As a result, at least partially, Green Energy Technology and Motech Industries both reported significant declines in sales for December.
Motech Industries has updated its Monthly Revenues figures for December 2014, registering only NT$1,508 million (New Taiwan Dollar), a drop of 16.48% month over month. This figure was much more in line with October and September figures, which themselves were up on the middle-two quarters of the year, but well down on the first quarter of 2014.
Green Energy Technology also reported sales in December. However, it cited increased costs for its OEM business as the cause. In fact, November and December have both seen declines for GET, thanks in part to the DoC trade investigations.
November net sales for GET came in at NT$1,460 million, down 5.6% on October, due mainly to “OEM percentage increase.” Sales dropped a further 9.7% in December to NT$1,318 million, bringing the accumulative sales for 2014 to NT$15,359 million, up 18% on 2013’s figures.
Speaking about their goals in 2015, GET stated that it expects the “trade war could be alleviated” soon, and it plans to “cooperate further with high-end customers in different areas.”