Investment banking company Roth Capital Partners has predicted solar prices including the cost of PV modules could rise in the near term as the coronavirus outbreak in China has resulted in shortages of solar wafers and module glass.
Roth said the Chinese new year holiday has been extended until Sunday in eight provinces to help deal with the virus, including the key global solar manufacturing areas of Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Guangdong and Anhui.
“The companies that have gotten back to us about the coronavirus impact have said they have been working through the holiday,” said the investor in a short statement. “We’ve been told that the ‘not to return to work’ order, i.e. work stoppage, may not be applicable to companies that never dismissed employees. Our guess is that while most of the facilities have been up and running, they likely have not been running at 100% staffing.”
Low production rates
China’s National Health Commission said transport has been seriously disrupted in many regions, further affecting manufacturing. With Beijing having extended the new year break until yesterday, local governments have added a further week to the shutdown and are likely to stretch the lay-off for at least another seven days in an effort to contain spread of the virus.
With people in affected areas ordered to quarantine themselves for 14 days, it is thought factory utilization rates across all industries in the affected areas may have slumped.
The big Chinese solar manufacturers which have responded to pv magazine’s questions about the impact of coronavirus – on condition of anonymity – said their factories are operating at very low rates and they do not anticipate a return to normal production in the immediate future.
Authors: Vincent Shaw, Emiliano Bellini
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