During this week, the PV supply chain performed a wait-and-see attitude like previous weeks, and the trend of spot prices of PV products remained flat. Through the recent downturn of the price trend, PV manufacturers have found that price slashing doesn’t bring them more orders, so they turned to be more conservative. The manufacturers tend not to cut PV products’ prices because the reduced prices can’t be transited into orders and shipments. In addition, most PV makers are looking at the market performance in April instead of swinging spot prices now.
EnergyTrend acquires that PV products stock clearance accounted a lot for the PV price downturn in March. In April, the price trend would be determined by the market demand. On one hand, it is projected to have a stable PV market in Japan this year. On the other hand, U.K. led the European market in the first quarter but the future demand would be relatively flat because the nation starts to limit its large-scale PV power plant applications since April. Additionally, market demand in China, where have no large-scale PV project starting construction in 2015 yet, is expected to emerge after the SNEC exhibition in Shanghai in late April.
When it comes to the supply chain, wafer manufacturers which signed long-term agreements with polysilicon suppliers need to purchase polysilicon by higher prices. However, PV cell makers from the downstream chain tend to reduce their costs by buying cheaper wafers. The dilemma forms a restriction to wafer prices’ drop range. Currently, quotes of high efficiency wafers made by first-tier wafer manufacturers are among US$0.84~0.86/piece, while the quotes of second-tier manufacturers remain at US$0.83~0.85/piece. Aside from wafers, the lowest quote of Taiwanese multi-si PV cells dropped down to US$0.29/w, which was close to Chinese PV cells. Such a low quote doesn’t bring any profit to Taiwanese makers. Nonetheless, the spot prices and costs of PV cells would remain so in near future as long as there is no any rapid price decrease in the upstream part of the supply chain.
This Week’s Spot Prices
Spot prices of polysilicon slightly dropped $0.1/kg to an average price of $16.9/kg. In terms of wafers and PV cells, the drop trend has slowed down compared to previous weeks. Price of high efficiency multi-si wafer decreased 0.23% to $0.85/piece. In the meantime, price of mono-si wafers have dropped to $1.058/piece in order to increase their market share. Spot price of high efficiency multi-si PV cells slightly dropped 0.64% to $0.31/w, while Taiwanese multi-si cells’s quote was $0.30/w and Chinese multi-si cells were $0.29/W. Mono-si PV cells’ quote has decreased 0.52% to an average price of $0.38/W. PV modules’ price remained almost the same with last week; the modest swing prices were for market adjustment.
(Photo Credit: Flickr)