With trading remaining brisk, overall prices of the PV supply chain has kept on rising this week, with prices of silicon wafers scoring the steepest hike, due to serious shortage of supply.
Polysilicon prices on China's spot market has hit RMB 123-125/kg. However, there are only a few transactions on the spot market, due to insufficient supply, as majority of Chinese polysilicon factories have yet to run at full capacity, following their annual maintenance.
Silicon-wafer plants are running at capacity but still cannot meet demand, jacking up prices. Multi-si wafers are being transacted at prices above RMB 5/pc, or US$0.68/pc, with transaction prices for silicon wafers with especially high performance ranging US$0.69-0.74. Thanks to price stabilization policy of first-tier suppliers, prices of mono-si wafers stand at US$0.76-0.78/pc, despite grave shortage of supply.
Affected by the price spike of silicon wafers, prices of mono-si PERC PV cells have topped US$0.35/W, while multi-si PV cells have scored even steeper rise, to over US$0.22/W. Prices of high-efficiency multi-si PV cells, with conversion rate exceeding 18.4%, have advanced to over US$0.235~0.25/W, or RMB1.85/W on the Chinese market. Due to insufficient supply of silicon wafers, prices of regular mono-si PV cells are rather chaotic, ranging RMB1.9-1.95/W, with prices for quite a few orders in Taiwan surpassing US$0.25/W.
Module firms have no other choice but accept prices hikes by PV cell suppliers, in order to fill orders which must be delivered by the end of the year. On the other hand, as end demands have remained moderate, they cannot pass the higher costs to customers, as a result of which module prices have stayed at around BMB 3/W on the Chinese market, with overseas prices even trending downward further. As a result, margin of module firms has dropped to razor-thin level, which will put a damper on further price hike by midstream suppliers. Midstream prices are expected to stagnate or even start a downturn in mid-November.
(Analysis provided by Corrine Lin, translated by a contracted translator of TrendForce Corp.)