According to data compiled by InfoLink, Tongwei and Aiko Solar secured first and second places for solar cell shipment in the first half of 2020. The rest of the top-three slightly reshuffled, with Runergy edging Solar Space to take third spot, followed by Lu’an. Solar Space dropped to fifth spot in the ranking.
Comparing with the corresponding period in 2019, shipments by the top five suppliers saw significant growth. Tongwei’s shipments grew 31% over the prior year and Aiko grew 83%. Runergy, whose shipments doubled, witnessed the strongest growth. While several manufacturers suffered huge business setbacks overseas amid COVID-19, Lu’an held up significantly well in the Chinese market, with shipment volume soaring by 76%, clinching fourth spot. Solar Space’s shipment increased 22%, securing the fifth place.
Cell manufacturers slightly lowered utilization rates for both mono- and multi-Si lines during February and March due to impacts of the coronavirus outbreak. As the virus raged across the globe over April to May, the manufacturers were expected to cut production further. But with the return of the June 30 installation rush in China, they were allowed to run at full capacity in May through June.
Overall, total cell shipments by the top-five grew from a year ago. Tier-1 cell manufacturers, with cost and sales advantages as well as compatibility with large wafers, have gradually cannibalized smaller manufacturers’ market share in the first half of the year. As new cell capacities continue to come online in the second half, it remains to be seen how many older production lines will be eliminated.