Why Did Trina Solar’s Shipments Fall in 3Q16?



Trina Solar’s shipments

Trina Solar (TSL) had a total module shipment guidance of 1.55–1.65 GW (gigawatts) for 3Q16. However, it reported 1.36 GW of total solar (TAN) module shipments for 3Q16 compared to 1.66 GW in 2Q16 and 1.70 GW in 3Q15.

According to company filings, of the 1.36 GW, Trina Solar’s external shipments to third-party customers included 1.34 GW in 3Q16 compared to 1.62 GW in 2Q16 and 1.35 GW in 3Q15.

The company shipped 20.6 MW (megawatts) to its downstream solar power projects in 3Q16 compared to 39.3 MW in 2Q16 and 350.0 MW in 3Q15.

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Shipment breakdown by region

TSL’s shipments to ROA (Rest of Asia) contributed 34.9% of its total external shipments in 3Q16 compared to 10.9% in 2Q16. According to company filings, ROA shipments were driven by a substantial rise in module shipments to India, which accounted for nearly 30.0% of the total shipments.

These shipments were followed by the United States contributing 26.3% of total external shipments. Europe, China, and Japan contributed 17.7%, 13.3%, and 6.7%, respectively, of total external shipments. TSL’s shipments to ROW (Rest of World) came in at 1.1% of total external shipments in 3Q16.

Why the fall?

The fall in shipments was mainly due to weak demand for Trina Solar’s solar modules from China. Developers rushed to place their orders in the first half of 2016 ahead of an expected subsidy policy adjustment in the latter half of the year. TSL’s shipments to China fell nearly 78.0% on a quarter-over-quarter basis.

Moving ahead, the company aims to further expand its presence in emerging markets. As of September 30, 2016, Trina Solar’s cumulative shipments to India crossed 1.5 GW (gigawatts). Shipments to Europe hit a record high of 237.0 MW during 3Q16.

However, the supply glut of solar modules in the global markets remained a major concern for solar module manufacturers such as Trina Solar, SunEdison (SUNEQ), First Solar (FSLR), SunPower (SPWR), and Canadian Solar (CSIQ).

In the next part of this series, we’ll look at Trina Solar’s 3Q16 revenues.


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