Tongwei, Aiko and Runergy secured leading positions in the H1 2022 cell shipment rankings. The top five saw a slight shake-up, with Solar Space climbing to fourth place this time as production expansions are phased in. uploads, while Jietai returned to the top 5.
The top 5 manufacturers together delivered 59 GW of cells in the first half of this year, a year-on-year increase of 60%. In addition to the increase in shipment volumes, the cell gross margin has recovered since the second quarter, thanks to short-term structural changes which have slightly delayed line changes compared to the initial schedules. This resulted in only 14-15 GW of consumer cell supply being available in the second quarter, well below downstream demand. This shortage, coupled with stronger overseas demand, has bolstered module utilization rates, supported cell demand and allowed cell prices to rise. In this context, gross margins increased slightly in the second and third quarters of this year, compared to last year’s levels. Financial results for the first half of 2022 showed that the gross margin of M10 (182mm) cells increased to RMB 0.06-0.09/W.
The size transition is progressing rapidly. Data compiled by InfoLink shows that M10 (182mm) and G12 (210mm) cells accounted for 75.8% of shipments in the first half of 2022. Meanwhile, G1 (158.75mm) cells accounted for just 2. 1%, M6 (166mm) and other formats 20.6%, multi-Si and n-type cells 1.5%.
The tightness of consumer cell supply will ease in the fourth quarter of this year, as the modification of the M6 (166mm) production lines is expected to be completed by the end of the third quarter. Meanwhile, new production capacities of vertically integrated enterprises have gradually been brought into use, restoring cell supply. Professional cell manufacturers will improve gross margins through their advantage in adaptability, i.e. by flexibly adjusting production capacities for different formats.
In addition to vertically integrated enterprises, professional cell manufacturers are poised to mass-produce n-type products in the second half. InfoLink expects to see, by the end of 2022, over 60 GW of TOPCon production capacity and 14 GW of HJT production capacity, of which 2-3 GW is for R&D and pilot projects.