PV cell was the only sector across the PV value chain that witnessed significant price rise this week, while other sectors’ rise rates were relatively small. Nonetheless, PV prices across the value chain were still strong due to factors including RMB currency appreciation, supply shortage in the third-party countries, and market differentiation between Taiwanese and Chinese manufacturers.
A new situation emerged among China’s installation rush ahead of June 30, a deadline that significantly influences the PV price trend. EnergyTrend found that many Chinese PV developers have appealed to government for postponement of the installation deadline. Their appeal, which has yet been approved, was resulted from issues that delay installing. The issues mainly include land measuring, supply agreement repudiation, and unexpected peaking price offered by EPC service suppliers.
Some PV project developers already decided to decelerate installing, turning to wait for government’s answer. They evaluated that it is risky to compensate on-time installation for squeezed profit brought by products or EPC service suppliers’ unreasonable price ahead of the June-30 deadline. Furthermore, it is unsure if the developers could complete project construction by June 30 even they do pay for products and EPC services. Consequently, these developers chose to wait for government’s answer to their appeal instead of being urgent to install PV projects, and hence helped extend PV demand through July.
Polysilicon quote continued rising this week, while the rise scale was not large because orders for June have nearly been full-booked and orders requested for July are still few. Likewise, polysilicon trading price has grown but slightly. The average selling price for polysilicon remained at RMB 116 per kg, and for high-quality polysilicon reached RMB 120 per kg.
Consecutive supply shortage in si-wafer sector helped boost wafer price to hike, but the volume was very limited. This week, Taiwan-made ultra-high-efficiency wafer price stuck at US$0.625 per piece, while China-made price increased slightly to RMB 4.77~4.82 per piece. Besides, RMB currency appreciation against US dollar drove a more significant price rise regarding orders dealt with US dollar currency.
PV cell’s price continued rising this week. In China, PV cell’s quote has already reached RMB 1.85 per watt, yet only few volume can be traded before June 30. Meanwhile, PV cell price in Taiwan also grew. PV cells with 18.4% efficiency has been traded at price of up to US$0.225 per watt.
Taiwan PV cell makers have been trying to ship products at peak prices in recent two weeks because they are unsure about order and price after mid-June. However, several factors will help sustain their utilization rates. First, USA’s Section 201 will trigger extra demand, and PV cell makers in third-party countries would prefer shipping products to the U.S. market, squeezing supply to the European market. Second, the European market enters into peak season in the third quarter. Third, SolarWolrd’s bankruptcy reduced the German giant’s production capacity, which will worsen the expected supply shortage in the European market in the upcoming quarter. Taiwan-made PV cells, therefore, can fulfill the supply void in Europe through July.
PV modules available for shipping by next week are so few that their price has been peaking and peaking. EnergyTrend even found multi-si, 270W module order traded at RMB 3.05 per watt. However, the supply shortage and very little volume restricted the price’s upward trend. As a result, PV module’s average selling price rose moderately this week. On the other hand, the moderate price rise of PV module products also represented fluctuation in currency exchange rate.
As mentioned above, PV market demand could be extended after June 30 so order outlook toward July is overall positive. Nonetheless, most PV module manufacturers are conservative in module price trend after late-June. They rather believe that a new phase of price adjustment would follow current supply shortage.
(Analysis provided by Jason Tsai, analyst at EnergyTrend)