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PV Prices Continue to Go up, but Momentum Slows

published: 2011-07-21 9:43

According to the latest price survey conducted by EnergyTrend, the polysilicon spot price continues to increase, and current trading price has stayed between $52/kg and $54/kg. Notably, the trading price in the Chinese market is slightly higher than other markets ranging from $55/kg to $58/kg. The main spot price of mono-Si wafer stays between $2.6/piece and $2.65/piece due to its high market demand. Also, the main spot price of multi-Si wafer stays between $1.95/piece and $2.1/piece. According to EnergyTrend, PV manufacturers take a wait-and-see attitude toward the market in 3Q11. Currently, they put more focus on the order demand of 3Q11 to evaluate the market development. On the other hand, although most of PV spot prices went up, the extent has narrowed. It might signal the end market demand is less than expected, and the price trend of 3Q11 could reverse.

According to current market trend, EnergyTrend believes the oversupply still remains. As far as the supply chain is considered, the price rebound first occurred in the upstream, namely, the polysilicon sector. Although Si wafer manufacturers sought to keep up with the price trend, the price recovery of Si wafer could not overhaul the price increase of polysilicon. Currently, major Si wafer manufacturers not only mix substitute materials to reduce cost, but also try to renegotiate terms with their suppliers. However, the efforts to gain support from suppliers appears to be futile. Hence, EnergyTrend believes that the Si wafer manufacturers’ profit in 3Q11 may be compromised. On the other hand, participants of Intersolar North America Exhibit which was completed last week indicated the system and power plant projects drew relatively more attention at the event. Compared with other markets, the North American market demand still remains strong, and it is estimated that the market demand for system installation will reach as high as 2GW this year. Therefore, system manufacturers are now aiming for the potential growth of the North American market as the next major market development.

According to EnergyTrend’s survey, although major project bids of the U.S. focus on large scale utility plant establishments, smaller projects such as rooftop systems will also benefit from state governments and the federal government’s subsidies. EnergyTrend indicates that since European governments have cut the subsidies for large solar energy power plants substantially, the rooftop system market will be the major market driver from now on. In addition, the US market might resemble such a market trend in the future. The conversion efficiency plays an important role in developing rooftop systems, and thus it is expected that the manufacturers including Taiwanese makers with advanced technology will be in a better position to grasp new business opportunities.

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