The Chinese market continues to witness weak demand in March because installation boom hasn’t appeared as anticipated. According to EnergyTrend’s observation, the lower-than-expected Chinese demand from February to March has led to high inventory level for cell and module makers. Since module manufacturers’ marketing costs are higher than those of midstream and upstream sectors, they must maintain a profit of 15% for their orders. But as module prices continue to decline, module makers can only put pressure on cell prices. Therefore, the multi-Si cell market saw the most significant decline in prices this week, down US$ 0.05-0.1/W to US$ 0.208-0.21/W (RMB 1.65-1.68/W).
Due to the weaker multi-Si cell prices, the average trading price of multi-Si wafers has slightly declined in March, reaching US$ 0.05-0.1/pc. Yet, judging from US$ 0.21/W, cell makers can’t accept multi-Si wafers that cost more than US$ 0.64/pc. Cell makers will have to keep bargaining with multi-Si wafer makers later on.
Both cell and multi-Si wafer makers have started to face cost war, but multi-Si wafer prices remained high and may begin to drop later.
Looking ahead for the future, the price decline of multi-Si products is inevitable in the short run. For mono-Si, due to the short supply of mono-Si wafers, wafer and cell prices have stayed flat. On the other hand, cell and module makers have to re-examine if they should make some adjustment to the operating rates in response to inventory adjustment. However, the absence of installation boom has made manufacturers worry about the market demand in April. Manufacturers are also trying to figure out the reason to the absence of installation boom. As a result, prices will reflect a downtrend in the short-term.