PV modules up 10% – Conergy CEO

PV module prices have risen by up to 10% in recent months, and there are “sustainable reasons” why that trend will continue during the rest of the year, Conergy CEO Philip Comberg said.

“One of the reasons is the current debate about EU anti-dumping measures,” Comberg said during an earnings conference call.

But he added that another factor may be that companies that had been able to enter the market with “combat prices” can possibly no longer afford to take the financial hit, and now find themselves under pressure from financing institutions to boost profitability and sell their products at different prices.

Chinese PV companies such as Suntech or LDK Solar in recent months have defaulted on bonds after themselves being hard hit by falling module prices, which some European manufacturers blame on Chinese dumping practices.

The European Commission is widely reported to be ready to slap anti-dumping tariffs on Chinese PV kit averaging some 47%. A preliminary EU ruling is expected by June 5.

Solar companies on the whole should profit from the current upward price development, Comberg said, but cautioned that Conergy does not assume that prices will go up forever.

Conergy earlier today said its sales jumped 24% to €122.1m ($158.9m) in the first quarter, but that its net loss still widened to €17.8m in the quarter from €14.7m a year earlier.