Spot prices of polysilicon in both Taiwanese and Chinese markets kept dropping during this week. In Taiwan, the lowest price has fallen to US$10.5~11/kg level, while the price level in China was as low as at RMB104~106/kg. Nonetheless, the months-continued downward trend could be halted because of stronger demand from the wafer segment and rationalized inventory levels.
Strong demand to wafers helped secure most orders for January in Taiwanese and Chinese markets. In Taiwan, orders of super high efficiency multi-si wafers were dealt at price near US$0.93/pc, while standard high efficiency multi-si wafers were mostly sold at a range of US$0.88~0.90/pc. The price raise in China was also visible as EnergyTrend found spot price that was as high as RMB6.6~6.8/pc although the average price was already restricted by long-term contracts signed by first-tier vertically integrated manufacturers. Yet the price raise is not likely to continue in February 2016 because the prices between mono-si and multi-si wafers are almost identical.
The average prices of mono-si wafers had been falling in early December because they were undersold against multi-si wafers. Fortunately, the average price drop has been stopped recently. Mono-si wafers for Taiwanese markets were sold at a price level higher than US$0.89/pc and for Chinese market at around RMB6.5/pc. It is predicted to see a warm-up of orders for mono-si wafers as the market share of M2 size mono-si wafers are increasing due to better C/P ratio.
Global PV cell demand slightly dropped because the U.S. decided to extent the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which lessened the rush for solar installations in 2016. Adding that the PV cell prices have risen rapidly in the past few weeks, PV cell quotes reported by cell manufacturers only rose slightly for orders in January. Taiwan-bound multicrystalline-Si PV cells were mostly transacted between US$0.34 and $0.345/watt, yet the prices were unable to reflect the price raise of multi-si wafers. Meanwhile, orders for mono-si PV cells were more visible near the end of 2015 because the prices between multi-si and mono-si wafers became almost the same.
Demand to PV modules was still strong due to the rapid installations in China. First-tier makers have been producing products at full capacity and the inventory level was reasonable. Multi-si PV modules were traded at approximately US$0.52/watt in China, and the spot price will be relatively stable before the Chinese New Year Holidays in 2016. However, PV module prices in markets outside China were reported lower than previous weeks, impacting the global average price.