- JinkoSolar’s 2022 module shipments added up to 44.52 GW, comprising 16.0 GW in Q4/2022
- High silicon prices pulled down its gross margin, but management is confident of it being a short-term phase
- Capacity utilization in Southeast Asian fabs was high despite the trade issues in the US market, thanks to increased shipments to other countries, including India
- It targets to ship between 11.0 GW to 13.0 modules in Q1/2023, and between 60.0 GW to 70.0 GW in 2023
Chinese solar PV manufacturer JinkoSolar Holding shipped a total of 44.52 GW solar modules in 2022, including 16.0 GW in Q4/2022, even as increase in silicon cost pulled down its gross margin to 14.8% last year; confident of enough polysilicon supply to support module demand in 2023, the company plans to add 20 GW new module production capacity this year.
“At the end of December, because of a seasonal unbalance between polysilicon supply and demand for PV products, combined with inventory adjustments across the supply chain, prices of polysilicon, wafers, cells and modules fluctuated, and this volatility led some downstream customers to pause orders,” shared JinkoSolar Chairman and CEO Xiande Li. “Since February 2022, polysilicon prices have rebounded and pricing games between the upstream and downstream of the solar industrial chain have to some extent impacted market sentiment.”
Management said the company dealt with volatility in the industrial chain by strictly controlling inventories and flexibly adjusting its production schedules and volumes. Going forward, it expects the rise in prices for polysilicon to not last and decline to improve project economics in the face of growing market demand.
During Q4/2022, its total revenues of $4.41 billion grew 55.8% sequentially and 85.5% annually, thanks to increase in module shipments. Gross profit improved as well by 39.2% QoQ and 61.7% YoY to $620 million. Yet, gross margin dropped to 14.1% due to silicon cost increase.
For full year 2022, its annual revenues went up by 104.6% to $12.11 billion, gross profit by 85.4% to $1.79 billion, while gross margin went down to 14.8%. Net income for the year also declined 7.7% to $96.4 million.
Philip Shen of Roth MKM comments, “While Q4 margins were weaker-than-expected on the higher cost poly inventory, we expect margins in Q1/Q2 to improve sequentially due in part to the lower poly costs and leadership in n-type resulting in premium pricing.”
In Q4/2022, phase II of the company’s 8 GW TOPCon cell capacitu in Hefei reached full production, and phase II of 11 GW TOPCon cell capacity in Jianshan is expected to reach full production in March 2023. “With our 35 GW of cell capacity gradually reaching full production, our integrated capacity structure continues to optimize, which will lower our blended costs,” added Li.
At the end of 2022, JinkoSolar’s annual production capacity of mono wafer, PERC cell and modules was 65.0 GW, 55.0 GW and 70.0 GW, respectively. By the end of 2023, it now targets to further expand the same to 75.0 GW for mono wafer, 75.0 GW for cells (dominated by n-type and also including PERC), and 90.0 GW for modules (see JinkoSolar Exceeds Shipment Guidance In Q3/2022).
The company also has an integrated mono wafer-cell-module manufacturing capacity of around 7 GW overseas.
Management forecasts its module shipments in Q1/2023 to range within 11.0 GW to 13.0 GW, while for full year 2023 the guidance is for 60.0 GW to 70.0 GW.
Speaking to analysts during the call to discuss financial results, JinkoSolar’s Chief Marketing Officer Gener Miao said it is seeing some ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ with regard to the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) hoping for 100% custom clearance soon. It is, however, seeing demand elsewhere as well beyond the US—including India—due to which its Southeast Asia fabs have ‘high utilization rates’.