China’s installation rush has yet emerged until early March as expected, while PV supply chain have started fluctuating. Strong demand to mono-si products drove the prices to hike during this week; by contrast, spot prices for midstream multi-si products decreased nearly to their production costs.
EnergyTrend discovered that market demand to mono-si products remained strong through March, hence sustained the gradual prices raise. Orders and spot price of mono-si PV cells have remained at a stable level. Spot price for mono-si PERC cells maintained at around US$0.31 per watt.
However, spot price for multi-si cells fell. Due to the absence of installation rush, China’s overall market demand in early March was not as strong as expected, causing the downward trend of multi-si cell’s quotes. Current multi-si cell price in Taiwanese market has fallen below domestic makers’ costs. Even for Chinese multi-si cell makers who enjoys lower production costs, it is struggling for them to strive for positive margins.
Significant price decrease in multi-si PV cell segment pressed multi-si wafer makers. In early March, price for multi-si wafer have fallen to about US$0.64 per piece. Although multi-si wafer makers wish to maintain the price above US$0.63 per piece, or RMB 5 per piece, EnergyTrend projects that they have to cut price in near future because of stresses caused by multi-si PV cell vendors.
China’s moderate market demand, even in prior to June 30, will force multi-si wafer and cell makers to renegotiate quotes with upstream polysilicon manufacturers, who still have good margin. In the short-term, polysilicon price will remain at the same level with it is now because polysilicon orders for early March were dealt in February. However, polysilicon’s price trend will be likely to go downwards along with multi-si wafers’ price decline in late March to the soonest.
As for the market outlook, price decline across the multi-si PV value chain will be highly possible. Flat market demand and excessive capacity expansion in the past one year both account for this situation. EnergyTrend forecasts that the multi-si prices may see greenlight only after China’s SNCE tradeshow to be held in April.
(Analysis provided by Corrine Lin, analyst at EnergyTrend.)