PV demand after the Lunar New Year has slightly cooled down, spot prices for mid-stream sectors hence suspended the upward trend prior to the holidays. Adding weaker demand in the U.S. and European markets, the overall price trend is trapped in a wait-and-see situation. Mid-stream manufacturers generally hold less confidence in increasing product price in the short term.
EnergyTrend found that manufacturers across the PV value chain have been exploring adequate price ranges since the early February. As for the PV cell sector, orders have relatively decreased so cell vendors can only raise the spot price when it appears stronger demand.
Demand to multi-si PV cells is too weak for multi-si wafer manufacturers to raise their spot prices. In the Chinese market, spot price for multi-si wafers ranged RMB 5.15 ~5.25 per piece, while in Taiwan stayed between US$ 0.66 and US$0.69 per piece. Both remained flat over previous weeks. In contrast, supply shortage of mono-si wafers helped the spot price to increase gradually to US$0.82~0.85 per piece, and RMB 6.2~6.3 per piece, respectively in Taiwan and in China.
Due to less cell procurement after the Lunar New Year, strike prices of both mono- and multi-si cells stayed at the same level. Although quotes for multi-si cells with 18.4% conversion efficiency has topped to US$0.223 to 0.228 per watt, the products were still traded at around US$0.22 per watt. Standard mono-si cells’ price had rapidly increased before the holidays, while the price range has stuck at US$ 0.25 ~ US$ 0.27 per watt.
Furthermore, PV cell vendors chose to sell as many products as possible instead of piling up extra stocks because of weak procurement. This situation is likely to remain through next month so price trend until early March is difficult to clarify now.
Same to cell sector, PV module prices would be unlikely to raise. Module prices in seasonally weak-demanding U.S. and European markets kept decreasing, while in China, some PV developers offered lower price to win bids for large-scale PV power plants. Consequently, price trend of PV modules will remain flat until emergence of solar installation rush.
(Analysis provided by Corrine Lin, analyst at EnergyTrend)