In China, installation rush of solar PV systems has been concluded by June 30 so market demand has significantly plunged. PV module manufacturers are difficult to find buyers for their modules, and the order visibility was extremely low during this week. As the module inventory are rising, PV cells’ spot price are suffering from a rapid price fall.
PV products’ prices fell; polycrystalline PV cells’ price at bottom
Although it is currently in supply-demand equilibrium for polysilicon, wafer makers are hesitate to purchase surplus materials due to the weakening downstream demand. This caused price fall in the polysilicon sector. Nonetheless, the price fluctuation in this sector is relatively small.
Price fall in PV cell sector reversely drove the price decline in multi-si wafer sector. In the recent, multi-si wafers’ quote has already fallen below US$0.8 per piece and is expected to drop to nearly US$0.78 per piece. On the other hand, mono-si wafers’ price also dropped because a leading manufacturer promises to keep a price gap no larger than RMB0.6 per piece with multi-si wafers. Starting from July, spot prices of mono-si wafers manufactured or transacted in both China and Taiwan will decline along with the price drop of multi-si wafers until, at least, August. Taiwan-made or –bargained mono-si wafers’ price was at approximately US$0.915 per piece.
PV cells’ spot price significantly decreased due to the weakening demand in the downstream market. PV module manufacturers were slashing orders for polycrystalline cells, and some polycrystalline cells were therefore bargained at prices below US$0.275 per watt, which is the lowest in history of PV value chain and is nearly no margin. Likewise, monocrystalline PV cells, a sector that is still profitable, cannot sustain over the price downturn. EnergyTrend found that some orders were dealt by spot price below US$ 0.31 per watt.
Furthermore, spot price of PV cells made in third-party countries has decreased to US$0.35 per watt and is projected to keep falling because of two reasons: 1) Chinese tier-one PV makers such as JinkoSolar, JA Solar and Trina Solar have gradually completed their production capacities in third-parties countries; and 2) the results of final ruling of U.S.’s anti-dumping tariffs on China PV imports (second review of the 2012 rates) caused almost no impact to current supply-and-demand structure.
Some PV cell manufacturers plan to reduce their utilization rates in response to the drastic price fluctuation. The price fall in PV cell sector was severer than any other sector in the whole PV supply chain.
As EnergyTrend, as well as the whole industry, forecasts that the new grid-connected capacity in 2H16 in China will be significantly less than in 1H16, PV modules’ spot price declined rapidly in past two to three weeks. It was highly visible that PV module makers supplied their products by prices at RMB3.5 and US$0.45 per watt. As the global module inventory kept rising, the price trend is very likely to go downwards until the end of 2016. Especially in the U.S. market where is usually recognized to be more profitable, EnergyTrend projects a 10% price fall rate from June to the fourth quarter of 2016.