Yingli to claim global top spot

Chinese solar panel maker Yingli expects module shipments to surpass 2.2GW in 2012, beating its guidance and making it the world’s largest PV module supplier.

The company says shipments for the fourth quarter of 2012 are set to reach a new historical high, pushing its full-year shipments beyond its forecast of 2.1GW to 2.2GW.

“Demand from major markets recovered in the fourth quarter,” says Mathew Li, associate director of investor relations. “It was especially strong in China and solid in Europe.”

Slightly more than 40% of the company’s revenues in the quarter came from China, he says, compared with about 30% in the previous year’s same period.

"Despite the tremendous challenges to the global PV industry, we're extremely inspired to have continuously expanded our market share throughout 2012 not only in the existing markets but also a number of emerging markets," says chairman and chief executive Miao Liansheng in a statement.

Last year Yingli shipped 1.6GW of solar modules, behind Chinese peer Suntech, which shipped more than 2GW.

In December Suntech lowered  its full-year guidance to 1.7-1.8GW.

Despite stronger shipments however, Yingli’s losses have widened this year as the global supply glut pushed down selling prices.

The New York-listed company reported third quarter losses of 959.2m yuan ($152.6m) compared with a loss of 180.5m yuan in the same period of last year.

Baoding-based Yingli had annual production capacity of 2.45GW in August 2012.