- VDMA counts German PV equipment makers’ Q1 sales and orders to have dropped sequentially
- High material costs and energy prices, along with pandemic related shortages beset the industry
- Incoming orders from Asia and America grow significantly during the reporting quarter
Sequential sales and orders for Q1/2023 dropped 27% and 26% respectively for German solar PV equipment manufacturers as demand from the European Union (EU) declined, yet the industry experienced a 29% annual jump in sales for the quarter, according to the German Mechanical Engineering Federation (VDMA).
The association reports an annual drop of 81% in incoming orders from Europe, saying the industry continues to experienced pandemic related shortages, albeit at a reduced level. This impacted their orders and sales on sequential basis.
It also points out that there are longer delivery times for the supply of electronic components.
“German PV equipment manufacturers are dealing with high material costs and energy prices. The reduction of these factors would improve the cost-competitiveness of made in Germany machinery and equipment in comparison to the competition,” explained Managing Director of RCT Solutions GmbH and Chairman of the Board of VDMA Photovoltaic Equipment, Dr Peter Fath.
Compared with completely manufactured machines and systems, the industry noted a higher share of sales for components with the highest share of sales at 69% for crystalline silicon cells, followed by the thin-film segment. Sales of products used in the manufacturing of polysilicon, ingots, and wafers remains low.
According to the VDMA, during Q1 German companies also saw their Asia orderbook grow 168% YoY and America by 27%. Export quota was 89% with Asia staying on as the highest sales market for the industry.
Division Manager of VDMA Photovoltaic Equipment, Dr Jutta Trube remains hopeful of better business in the future. “The Asian market is the largest for German photovoltaic equipment manufacturers. Despite the lower results in the first quarter of this year compared to the previous quarter, the branch expects stable and steady growth in the orders for the coming quarters, both in Asia and elsewhere.”
Last year, the German PV production equipment industry reported 7% annual decline in 2022 annual turnover (see VDMA Update On PV Equipment Sector).