The ranking is based on statistics from InfoLink database. The data is from InfoLink’s survey of manufacturers. Should there be any manufacturer yet to calculate its shipment volume, we use operational data and our estimation based on production output and inventory from InfoLink database. Official figures shall prevail when there is any discrepancy.
Shipment volume surges, competition intensifies among Tier-2 manufacturers.
The division among module manufacturers is clear. There was no change at the top of the ranking, while the second half of the list shuffled.
Statistics show the gap widening between shipment volumes of the top four manufacturers and the rest. Rationale behind this growing corporate divide were company size, cost advantage, and overseas channels. In 2022, top four manufacturers each shipped more than 40 GW, at least 20 GW more than the fifth. InfoLink estimated that the top 10 manufacturers shipped around 252 GW of modules, an 166% year-on-year increase. The top four dominated 60-65% of global shipment volume, heightening that the big stays big.
The top five module makers in 2022 were Longi, Jinko Solar, Trina Solar, JA Solar, and Canadian Solar. Although Longi slipped to third place in the first half of the year, it delivered actively in the second half, shipping 12-15 GW in a quarter, retaining the lead for three consecutive years. Longi saw a 26% year-on-year increase, the smallest among the top four. Jinko resecured the top spot in the first half of 2022 but came off the second best by 1-2 GW in the annual ranking. Still, it witnessed a substantial 109% increase compared with 2021, thus elevating two spots to second place. Trina, utilizing its advantages in Chinese and overseas channels, maintained a stable growth in shipment volume and stayed among the top three with a 74% year-on-year increase. JA Solar took fourth place with 67% of steady year-on-year increase, thanks to stable development, proper cost control, and effective management of overseas channels.
Top five to eight manufacturers were Canadian Solar, Risen Energy, Chint, and First Solar. Tongwei and Hanwha Qcells were tied for the nineth position. The fifth to seventh module makers shipped more than 10 GW, whilst the eighth to tenth shipped 8-10 GW. Among overseas manufacturers, First Solar maintained the eighth position with an 18% year-on-year increase, thanks to its growth in the U.S. market. Hanwha Q Cells, however, had experienced decline for three consecutive years. Its expansion progress this year requires further observation.
Top six to ten manufacturers saw intense competition as cross-sector new players shuffling the ranking. Tongwei extended its presence to the module sector and reaped a place in the top ten ranking.
The rest, such as DAS Solar, Suntech, and Huansheng Solar, shipped 7-8 GW in 2022, only 0.3-1.8 GW behind the tenth module maker. Despite not making the list last year, they are ambitious with their 2023 shipment target.
Commenced at the end of 2022, the escalating competition will continue into this year, posing severe challenges to the module sector.
Share of domestic shipment increases
In 2021, nearly 70% of shipments of Chinese module makers in the ranking were overseas shipments.
In 2022, 50-55% of shipments of Chinese module makers in the ranking were overseas shipments, less than the year prior. This is largely attributed to the decrease in overseas shipment in the second half of the year due to inventory piled up in overseas markets, sluggish economic activity, and stronger domestic demand, despite higher overseas shipment volume, especially in Europe, driven by energy transition in the first half.
M10 accounted for most of the shipments
M10 (182mm) and G12 (210mm) products together accounted for 81% of shipments by the top 10 module makers (excluding First Solar), with M10 taking up the largest share. M6 (166mm) and other formats accounted for around 14%, and n-type modules 4-5%.
Manufacturers sets ambitious shipment goal for 2023.
The top four manufacturers set shipment targets for this year above 60 GW, even 90 GW, which translates to 265-290 GW of production volume. Modules produced with new technologies will account for 30-35% of total shipment, with TOPCon as the bulk.
The middle-ranking manufacturers aims to ship 20-40 GW, and the low-rankings 10-20 GW. The module sector saw the gap between large and small companies widening. This year, in the face of supply surplus and technology transformation, module makers in the second half of the ranking will see competition intensify.