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Solar Market Trends

US anti-circumvention investigation and capacity expansion in Southeast Asia

November 3, 2021 Albert Hsieh


U.S. solar manufacturers recently filed petitions to the U.S. Department of Commerce, requesting an investigation into alleged circumvention of anti-dumping and countervailing duties (AD/CVD) by Chinese PC manufacturers. In the petition, manufacturers alleged that their Chinese peers, by operating in Southeast Asia, avoid AD/CVD tariffs imposed on solar imports to the U.S.

In the following paragraph, PV InfoLink demonstrates the use of InfoLink’s newly developed visualized system, DataFactory, and analyzes how module makers could be affected under such circumstances.

The anti-circumvention inquiry mainly focuses on Chinese companies with manufacturing plants based in Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. With DataFactory’s multi-filters, you can quickly filter out the three countries and see production capacities in each sector on the supply chain. As shown in the filtered chart, in the fourth quarter of this year, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam respectively sustain 2 GW, 37 GW, and 59 GW of production capacity. The figures are expected to rise to 9 GW, 53 GW, and 73 GW by the fourth quarter of next year. Southeast Asia has become a key region for business strategies, since products exported from there are not subject to AD and CVD duties. The line chart also shows that expansion projects in Southeast Asia belong mostly to Tier-1 manufacturers.

US anti-circumvention investigation and capacity expansion in Southeast AsiaSource: InfoLink DataFactory

Note: DataFactory provides annualized production capacity.

With DataFactory, you can filter out the affected companies in different regions to get a clearer view on how overseas production capacities are affected, with various graphs being presented together.
Take Thailand for instance, DataFactory demonstrates future plans for production capacity there and adds up the total figure. The images below present module production capacity from the fourth quarter this year to the fourth quarter next year.



Source: InfoLink DataFactory

By leveraging various charts in DataFactory, you can immediately spot changes in manufactures’ production capacities and market share in Thailand.

2021_en_U.S. anti-circumvention investigation and capacity expansion in Southeast Asia_thailand2022_CN

2022Production capisity total_EN

Source: InfoLink DataFactory

By adding up the total figure, you have a clear view of the total production capacity of the filtered regions or companies. Images above present changes in Thailand’s total module production capacity in 4Q21 and 4Q22. With Tier-1 Chinese module makers expanding capacity, the country will see module production capacity growing to 9.9 GW in 2022.

Within 45 days after the filing, on November 29, the U.S. Department of Commerce will announce whether it will initiate an anti-circumvention investigation. The investigation and preliminary review will take 180 days. There should be no huge impact on cells and modules exported from Southeast Asia by far. In recent years, Southeast Asia has become a crucial manufacturing base for Chinese manufacturers to tap into the U.S. market, with all Tier-1 makers planning long-term production capacity expansions. 

Judging from recent market movements, some makers have slowed down expansion projects, awaiting outcomes of foreign policies; some insisted to complete Southeast Asian supply chains, with the scope expanding from the downstream module sector to the mid-stream wafer sector. Still other manufacturers are eyeing South Korea and Cambodia, which are free from U.S. trade barriers, for exporting modules to the U.S. through entrepot trades. With far lower production costs, these modules will considerably take up the market share of China-based module exporters to the U.S. 

PV InfoLink will keep heeding to progress of expansion projects in Southeast Asia. With DataFactory, you can track changes in production capacity expansions and impacts anti-circumvention inquiry has on production capacity in Southeast Asia. All statistic and graph in DataFactory can be exported for further references.

U.S. anti-circumvention investigation and capacity expansion in Southeast Asia_DFnote_ENSource: InfoLink DataFactory

In Analyst’s Note, you can access analyst’s insights anytime, instead of waiting for the publication of periodical reports.

The biggest advantage of DataFactory is its instantaneousness. Take issues regarding anti-circumvention for example, if the investigation slows production expansions in Southeast Asia, there will be no need to wait for the publication of periodic reports, for DataFactory updates expansion statistics and analyst’s comment immediately. Moreover, you may download the statistic for other purposes.

In this era of informatization, InfoLink launches DataFactory, dedicating to providing businesses with the most efficiency statistics compilation, empowering companies to achieve higher competitiveness, and fulfilling our mission to Link the Value for You.

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