JinkoSolar tops Trina in Q1 module shipments

In the first quarter – and for the first time in its history – China’s JinkoSolar shipped more modules than any of its global rivals, and the company is on track to give market leader Trina a run for its money for the whole of 2016.

JinkoSolar was the third largest module supplier in 2015, having climbed the rankings steadily in recent years, but its 1.6GW of shipments in the first quarter easily topped Trina’s 1.42GW and Canadian Solar’s 1.2GW of shipments.

Jinko is guiding for 6.0-6.5GW of shipments for the whole of 2016, compared to Trina’s guidance of 6.3-6.55GW, meaning the number-one slot is very much in play. Trina overtook now-ailing compatriot Yingli in 2014 as the world’s largest panel supplier.

Jinko is not expanding its shipments at all costs. Its quarterly profit of 313.3m yuan ($48.6m) was six times larger than its profit in the same quarter last year – and compares to Trina’s first-quarter profit of $26.6m.

New York-listed Jinko reported a quarterly revenue of 5.47bn ($847.8m) and diluted earnings per American Depository Share of $1.44.

While many Chinese module makers are in the process of diversifying into downstream project development and operation, few have done it as successfully as Jinko.

During the first quarter Jinko crossed the 1GW mark for grid-connected projects, and it also emerged recently as one of the biggest winners in Mexico’s landmark first renewables tender – representing Jinko’s first downstream push in a market outside of China.

Jinko generated 210GWh of power at its completed solar projects in the first quarter, up 82% year on year.

"We began the year very strongly with total module shipments reaching 1,600 MW, ranking us as the biggest module supplier among our peers during the first quarter,” says chief executive Kangping Chen. “Next month marks our 10-year anniversary and I couldn't imagine a better way to celebrate this milestone.”

Although China remains Jinko’s largest market by far, it expanded its market share in the US during the first quarter.

“Although the ITC extension resulted in some projects being postponed, we are confident in our ability to hit our shipment targets to the US for the year with our overseas production facility providing extra flexibility and higher margins,” Chen says.

“The increasing recognition of our brand name is also generating great opportunities in exciting emerging markets such as Chile, Thailand and India."