Solar Short Sellers

Solar short sellers are flocking to the solar power industry, dumping record levels of stock in  First Solar of the US and competing equipment makers in a bet that profit will  be hurt by a glut of Chinese panels and shrinking demand in Europe.

First Solar of Tempe, Arizona, the world’s largest maker of thin-film solar  panels, had a record 23 per cent of outstanding shares sold short this month,  according to Data Explorers information on Bloomberg. A record 54 per cent of  Germany’s Q-Cells SE is short, meaning the stock was borrowed for sale by  speculators who hope to buy it back later more cheaply.

A surge in Chinese competition and solar subsidy cuts in the world’s biggest  markets of Germany and Italy have attracted solar short sellers and helped push down  the 37-member Bloomberg Global Leaders Solar Index by 22 per cent this quarter.  The drop reflects a 21 per cent price decline this year for solar cells, the  devices that are fastened onto panels to convert sunlight into power, according  to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

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