According to Global Sources’ China Sourcing Report, despite higher polysilicon prices, most Chinese solar panel manufacturers say they plan to lower or keep prices steady in 2008. Specifically, the report shows 88 percent of suppliers plan to decrease or keep prices stable.

“With the polysilicon shortage expected to continue until 2009, most manufacturers are implementing measures to streamline production,” said Spenser Au, publisher of the report. “These include expanding to gain economies of scale, backward integration, and research and development to produce thinner solar cells that require less polysilicon.”

Among respondents’ plans to lower production costs, 28 percent are looking for ways to reduce waste, 27 percent are increasing automation, and 25 percent are upgrading management systems. The remaining 20 percent say they plan to focus on vertical integration and decreasing defects to improve manufacturing efficiency.

“Manufacturers are generally optimistic, with 97 percent expecting exports to increase over the next 12 months,” Au said. “However, with excess capacity in the high double-digits, a larger number of suppliers are reducing prices to gain orders.”

The China Sourcing Report: Solar Panels provides detailed profiles of 60 suppliers with verified manufacturing and export credentials.

For more information, visit www.chinasourcingreports.com.