• VDMA’s Q1/2020 results for German PV equipment industry shows 57% annual decline in sales, and 55% sequential drop due to the pandemic
  • Sales from Asia went down by 52% compared to previous quarter but European and US sales are also going downhill due to the pandemic
  • Things are looking up as during Q1/2020 the German producers booked 37% more incoming orders than the previous quarter

German Engineering Federation VDMA says COVID-19 badly impacted PV production equipment manufacturers bringing down their total sales in Q1/2020 by 57% compared to Q1/2019 and 55% from Q4/2019. This statement explains the severity of these first quarter results, “There has not been such a significant decrease since 2012, when the German photovoltaic market reached its rock bottom”.

With the pandemic first appearing in China, also the first country to undergo an extensive lockdown, the global industry’s supply chain and logistics were snapped. VDMA says, sales from Asia in Q1/2020 were down 52%. The association things should be getting better in the next quarter as it expects an increase in sales of 18% points.

According to VDMA , the full extent of the pandemic is now reflected in sales reduction in the European and US markets.

“As in the entire mechanical engineering industry, the globally interlinked value chains showed serious disruption and considerable fluctuations regarding different sales markets influenced by the corona pandemic,” said Dr Jutta Trube, Division Manager of VDMA Photovoltaic Equipment. “With an export ratio of over 90%, German PV machinery manufacturers are heavily dependent on functioning supply chains.”

In terms of segments, thin-film PV equipment accounted for 54% share of sales, followed by cell equipment representing 45% of sales. Production equipment for polysilicon, ingots, or wafers and modules is less than 1% in each case in the sales.

VDMA is hopeful of better times ahead as during Q1/2020 the German producers booked 37% more incoming orders than in the previous quarter. The reporting quarter saw more than 90% of orders booked in China followed by 4% in Malaysia.

VDMA stated, “Depending on the development of the corona pandemic, the expected sales for this period could again come close to the total sales of the previous year’s quarter.”