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Domestic PV Demand in China Boosts after the 2015 SNEC Convention

published: 2015-05-07 18:07

At this year’s SNEC tradeshow, many PV module manufacturers and PV system developers focused on prompting their solar projects. With optimistic outlook of demand for both ground-mounted and distributed generation projects, exhibitors at 2015 SNEC attempted building channels to boost their sales. Stronger demand for PV projects represents more orders to the PV supply chain as well. First- and second-tire manufacturers will opt for different business strategies depending on whether they directly own and build PV projects.

The 2015 SNEC convention took place in Shanghai, China, one of the world’s largest PV market. EnergyTrend found the appearance of local demands for solar projects in the tradeshow. PV system developers continue prompting PV projects, while PV module vendors hope to build channels for securing their module sales. The demand for PV module after the tradeshow would be stronger than in the first quarter as the construction of PV projects will be started gradually. To fulfill the foreseen demand, PV module manufacturers would raise their module backlogs up to at least 0.5 month volume. Most PV module manufacturers that are developing PV projects are running at 100% capacity utilization rate; meanwhile, second-tier manufacturers are utilizing their production capacity according to the volume of their OEM orders.

Although the downstream demand has revived, PV spot prices of upstream products remained flat subsequent to previous months. The main reason for the flat price trend is the surplus supply of polysilicon. The Chinese customs information shows that the import volume of polysilicon in March 2015 hit 10,297 tons, 36.2% higher than March 2014. The polysilicon import in the first quarter of 2015 also increased 26.5% to 27,164 tons comparing to 1Q14. In addition, polysilicon manufacturers added more production capacities in the same period, which worsened the surplus stock that can’t be consumed. PV demand is traditionally weak in the first quarter, and the excessive supply of polysilicon caused the price downturn of upstream PV supply chain. With more PV projects to be built, upstream vendors look forward to more shipment to the downstream sector so that they can consume their polysilicon stock.

Beside, utilization rate of PV cells raised from April because of stronger demand to PV modules. However, spot price of PV cells and wafers decreased to represent the decline of raw materials of polysilicon.

This Week’s Spot Prices

Quote of polysilicon slightly dropped 0.62% to US$16.1/kg. Quote of high-efficiency multi-si wafer dropped 0.6% to US$0.835/piece, while the average price of mono-si wafer decreased to US$1.02/piece. In terms of spot prices of PV cells, the price of high efficient multi-si cells showed a 0.66% decline down to US$0.301/W. Quote of Taiwan-made multi-si cells dropped 0.68% to an average price of US$0.29/W, and China-made multi-si cells dropped to US$0.288/W. Prices of PV modules also decreased during this week. Spot price of 250W multi-si modules slightly dropped 0.93% to US$0.535/W, and 265W mono-si modules fell to US$0.602/W with a 0.5% decline rate.

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