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Cell Manufacturers May Revise Price Upward Due to Increased Raw Material Cost

published: 2014-01-03 10:53

EnergyTrend indicates that cell manufacturers may revise the price upward to correspond to the increased poly and multi-si wafer price. Recent targeted average price is US$0.4/watt.

“After poly price slightly declined in 2Q13, it started to go upward in 2H13. In fact, ever since poly price dropped to US$16.32/kg in July, it never got worse than US$16.4/kg. Poly price in 4Q13 reached US$17.0/kg and average spot price in the end of 2013 even approached US$18.0/kg. Judging from the average monthly price, poly spot price rose by 7.2% in 2H13. Average price came to US$17.5/kg in December, 2013 while that in January, 2014 will be US$19.0-20.0/kg,” said Arthur Hsu, research manager of EnergyTrend.

Poly Price Trend from July to December, 2013


On the other hand, since poly price in 4Q13 was already US$17.0/kg and multi-si wafer demand continued to increase, major manufacturers can fully utilize production line and allow price to be revised upward. Furthermore, there are supply shortage issues for high-efficiency multi-si wafers. As indicated by EnergyTrend’s investigation, most Taiwanese manufacturers have started to look for outsourcing opportunities in December, 2013 in order to fulfill the large demand. After going through a preparation period, wafer manufacturers have also made price adjustment in 4Q13. Average price in January, 2014 is projected to be US$0.98-1.02/piece.

Multi-Si Wafer Price Trend from July to December, 2013


As indicated by EnergyTrend’s data, multi-si wafer price increased by 4.2% in 2H13, which brought certain pressure to cell manufacturers’ cost. Gross margin for module manufacturers was about 10%. Relevant manufacturers believe clients can still handle the rising cost pressure. It’s a must to revise the price upward. Thus, major manufacturers are planning to increase prices by US$0.01/watt, while other manufacturers will target a US$0.005/watt increase.

Cell Price Trend from July to December, 2013

Judging from the spot market, overall market condition is suitable for price to be adjusted upward. EnergyTrend believes the price from poly to cell will continue to increase in the short run, but the increased range may be different. For poly, Chinese poly price remains high and that in January, 2014 may reach RMB$145/kg. Demand in other regions is also strong, which raises the price simultaneously. This week’s average price comes to US$18.498/kg, a 3.4% rise. For multi-si wafers, supply shortage remains for high-efficiency products. Also, manufacturers have revised the price upward, which causes spot price to continuously rise. This week’s average price reaches US$0.954/piece, a 3.58% rise. For mono-si wafers, this week’s average price is raised to US$1.154/piece, a 0.52% rise. For cells, market demand and utilization rate remain high. Raw material cost significantly increases, thus manufacturers slightly revise cell price upward to test clients’ reaction. This week’s average price comes to US$0.389/watt, a 0.26% rise. For modules, average price is still showing a sight downtrend. Yet, recent price is more stable. It’s projected that price will remain the same or slightly increase in the short run, with this week’s average price being US$0.66/watt, a 0.15% drop.

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