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Sichuan Earthquake Induced Confined Impact; Large-Sized Cells Risen in Prices Due to Tightened Supply

published: 2022-09-08 14:23


Polysilicon prices continued to stabilize this week, where mono-Si compound feedings and mono-Si dense materials were respectively concluded at RMB 307/kg and RMB 304/kg. The orderly resumption of polysilicon capacity that was previously affected by Sichuan’s power restrictions is leading to a gradual increase of polysilicon supply and marginally mitigating the corresponding scarcity. As polysilicon output increases in September, the quotations for most long-term orders remain leveled to the previous level, and a small segment of sporadic orders is still sitting on a high market level in terms of quotations upon ongoing negotiations with fewer finalizations.

An observation on the production and operation of the polysilicon segment this week indicates that the two businesses under overhaul are expected to resume production between September and October. A 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck in Ganzi on September 5th, which led to strong seismic activities in surrounding areas. The two major polysilicon businesses in the area, Tongwei Yongxiang and GCL Leshan, are reported to have sustained minor impact from the earthquake, and remain normal production.


Wafer prices remained unchanged this week, where M10 and G12 were respectively concluded at a mainstream price of RMB 7.53/pc and RMB 9.93/pc. The wafer segment is currently sufficient in profitability under the largely stable prices from upstream polysilicon, with an overall robust provision, and will focus on price stabilization recently. The steadily increasing supply of polysilicon has prompted an increase in the operating rate of wafers during September, and the process of thinning persists in advancement, where a number of businesses are reflecting how 150-155μm has become market mainstream. Businesses, in order to pursue higher profitability, are shifting their focuses towards R&D in wafer thinning, and are expected to further bring down the thickness to 145-150μm. The wafer segment has endured a heavier impact from Sichuan’s earthquake, where the seismic activities would result in excessive interruption during the process of rod pulling. As reported, relevant businesses have yet to suspend their operations, showing how the overall ramifications are relatively under control.


Cell prices had slightly gone up this week, where mono-Si M6 cells were concluded at a mainstream price of roughly RMB 1.27/W, while M10 and G12 had respectively risen to approximately RMB 1.31/W and RMB 1.29/W. Tongwei announced its latest round of cell prices, where 182 and 166mm cells had increased by RMB 0.01/W, while 210mm cells had increased by RMB 0.02/W. This price increment has also prompted several second and third-tier cell businesses to follow up on the same implementation. As orders gradually finalize this week, both low prices and average prices have risen primarily owing to the support coming the comparative restricted supply of large-sized products and the persisting downstream demand. The earthquake has inflicted lower impact on the cell segment, where a number of production bases, despite having felt the shake, was not forced to shut down temporarily.


Module prices became stable this week, where the mono-Si 166mm module was concluded at a mainstream price of roughly RMB 1.91/W, while single-sided mono-Si 182 & 210mm modules were concluded at approximately RMB 1.97/W and RMB 1.99/W respectively, where 182 & 210mm bifacial double glass mono-Si PERC modules were concluded at RMB 1.97/W and RMB 1.99/W respectively.

As reported, most module houses are commenting on the recovering volume of order enquiries in September, while first-tier businesses have successively signed for their September orders under no apparent loosening of transaction prices and relatively smooth shipment. The increase of cell prices has provided additional support for module prices, which are expected to stabilize this month. Module profitability has plummeted to a new low, and a number of SMEs who are comparatively weaker in seeking for orders are experiencing difficulties in survival. Pertaining to exports, the exchange rate between US dollar and RMB is currently at roughly 1:6.97, which is a new high this year, and the continuous reduction in overseas module prices is beneficial to module exports. A slight increase to RMB 2.16-2.2/W was seen in the mainstream quotations of N-type module this week.

In terms of auxiliary materials, glass prices had dropped sizably this week, where 3.2 and 2.0mm glasses were sitting at a respective mainstream price of RMB 27/㎡ and roughly RMB 21/㎡. The excess supply status is becoming increasingly aggressive within the glass industry, where inventory continues to amplify, and the risen cell prices has also magnified module makers’ cost pressure. The increase of operating rate in modules compared to that of August has been restricted, and procurement is retained on the cautious end. Glass prices will further drop amidst the stalemated demand.

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