Yingli Q1 shipments miss forecast

Global PV module number-one Yingli Solar has warned that its 2014 first-quarter shipments are set to come in below forecasts – but is sticking by its guidance for the year as a whole.

Yingli said the dip is a result of “soft demand in China as a result of traditional seasonality” and delays in delivering modules for projects in Algeria.

The Chinese solar giant now expects to see “a low thirties percent” decrease in shipments for  Q1 2014, compared to the final three months of 2013. It had previously guided for a mid-twenties percentage fall.

The Algerian projects in question presumably form part of the 233MW of capacity awarded to Yingli last year in a tender held by state energy group Sonelgaz.

Yingli said today it had encountered “a longer than expected process for obtaining local construction permission” and the modules in question will be delivered in subsequent quarters.

Despite the first-quarter glitch, Yingli said it still expects to meet its previous guidance of 4GW-4.2GW for 2014 as a whole, thanks to “robust demand from China, the US, Japan and other markets”.

It also upped its gross margin guidance for the first quarter to a range of 15.5% to 16.5%, from a previous 14% to 16%.

Separately, Yingli announced it has started building 25MW of ground-mount PV capacity at two sites in northern China’s Hebei province.

The manufacturer will supply the PV modules for the two sites in the cities of Xingtai and Baoding, where it is based.

It expects to finish construction by the third quarter of this year, at more than 200m yuan ($33m).

The company will use domestic bank loans to cover 75% of the costs.