EnergyTrend, a research division of TrendForce, indicates that since high-efficiency wafer supply shortage remains and demand is still strong, both buyers and sellers have started to plan for February orders ahead of time. It’s projected that wafer price can reach US$1.0/piece in February. By then, Taiwanese manufacturers can be breakeven, and even turn around losses.
“Taiwanese wafer manufacturers have achieved full-production status currently. However, they still can’t satisfy the large incoming demand and thus delay all the lead time. Relevant manufacturers have been searching for outsourcing opportunities aggressively so they can get through all the orders. On the other hand, January wafer price have been revised upward continuously. Current data shows that wafer price for Taiwanese manufacturers has reached US$1.01-1.05/piece, which increased US$0.03-0.05/piece, a 3.1%-5.1% rise in contrast to December price,” said Arthur Hsu, research manager of EnergyTrend.
The number of orders received in December and January turned out to be more than expected, which caused lead time to delay and in turn impacted clients’ subsequent production. In order to avoid the same thing happen again, certain manufacturers have begun to negotiate for February production schedule. Furthermore, wafer price for Taiwanese manufacturers continues to increase due to the serious supply shortage issue for high-efficiency products. Major Chinese manufacturers’ wafer price also approaches US$1.0/piece and lead to the increased wafer price trend. “Although February quotation is US$1.05/piece, it may end up at US$1.0/piece and above. Judging from Taiwanese manufacturers’ current production cost, the price will allow them to be breakeven or turn loss into profit,” added Hsu.
From spot market perspective, overall market condition is in good shape. EnergyTrend believes price from poly to cell will reflect an uptrend in January but the increased range will vary.
For poly, Chinese poly price remains high, reaching RMB150/kg in January. Yet, actual trading price is still around RMB140/kg. Moreover, poly manufacturers are rather conservative about placing orders in case there will be too much inventory. This week’s poly price comes to US$18.498/kg, which is steady like last week’s.
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 comes to US$0.97/piece, a 1.68% rise. As for mono-si wafers, this week’s average price slightly raises to US$1.163/piece, a 0.78% rise.
For cells, market demand and utilization rate remain high in January. While Taiwanese manufacutrers continue to revise the price upward, Chinese manufacturers’ price is stable. Thus, this week’s average price reaches US$0.39/watt, a 0.26% rise.
For modules, Chinese manufacturers’ price is more stable, with this week’s average price remaining at US$0.66/watt. However, price may increase in the short run due to the increased raw material cost and new policies released by the Chinese government.