Yingli hopes sun shines on market shift
Updated: 2013-02-01 10:53
By Ding Qingfen and Huang Tiantian (China Daily)
Leading solar panel producer is exploring opportunities in emerging economies, as it faces tougher conditions in the European Union, its biggest traditional customer, report Ding Qingfen from Munich and Huang Tiantian from Beijing.
The world's biggest maker of silicon-based solar panels by capacity, Hebei province-based Yingli Green Energy Holding Co says it is planning to give more attention to emerging markets, including China, and less to Europe, its current largest source of business.
A solar-powered car made by Hainan Yingli New Energy Resources Co, a subsidiary of Yingli Green Energy Holding, is exhibited at a trade fair in Haikou, Hainan province, in November. Yingli is planning to shift its focus from Europe, its current largest source of business, to emerging markets. [Photo / China Daily]
In an interview with China Daily, Rebecca Jarschel, its marketing communications manager Europe, said the move has been prompted by the recent launch by the EU of an investigation into the Chinese solar panel industry.
Jarschel said: "We expect emerging markets, including China, South America and South Africa, to grow stronger and stronger.
"We hope that markets other than the EU will grow as fast at it has, and we certainly hope our dependence on the EU will be less in the future."
Yingli is shifting its focus as anti-dumping and countervailing investigations initiated by the EU and the United States - the top two overseas markets for the Chinese industrial companies - prepare to put the brakes on overseas demand for many made-in-China photovoltaic products.
"This is going to present real challenges, not only for Yingli, but also for other major companies in our sector," Jarschel added.
"The debt crisis is also still there (in Europe), but we think the economy is recovering.
"The industry is facing a period of change, as we are also unlikely to be able to depend on government subsidies in future."
Late last year, the US announced punitive duties from 18 percent to 250 percent on billions of yuan worth of Chinese solar products for the next five years.
Then the EU also announced the launch of anti-subsidy and anti-dumping probes into Chinese PV products.
Statistics show that more than 90 percent of Chinese PV solar products are exported, 70 percent going to the eurozone and 10 percent to the US. More than 70 percent of Yingli's output went to the European market.
Jarschel insists the company will weather the ill effects of the investigations on its overall business, adding, "we are already expanding into new and emerging markets, including Turkey, Israel, China and South America".
"The more important the emerging markets become, the less dependent Yingli will be on the EU."
During the four quarters ending Q3, 2012, Yingli incurred losses, and the company is expected to continue doing so in the final quarter of the year.
Miao Liansheng, its president, recently suggested that China would account for 40 percent of its sales in 2013, and the other emerging markets 10 percent, as governments pledge to boost their solar power capacity.
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