Indigenous PV demand, along with downstream demand, in China will be extended to July, as completion date for many PV projects, unable to meet the original schedule for grid connection on June 30, has been extended by one month, on the approval of municipal governments or arrangement by investors themselves. Meanwhile, robust demand induced by article 201 in the U.S. will continue, helping, directly or indirectly, prices of PV industrial chain in Taiwan and third places to stay high.
EnergyTrend predicts that should prices of PV supply chain soar, demand of U.S. customers will drop, putting a damper on price hike of third-place products. However, overshadowed by the uncertainty of ITC ruling, which is approaching, prices will linger at high level, unless some U.S. customers abandon PV power station projects, slashing demand.
Most PV prices have remained flat this week, except wafer prices which rise further. However, with June 30 schedule-induced boom coming to an end and demand slackening, upstream and downstream players are being engaged in a tumultuous psychological gambling underneath a seemingly stable market.
With downstream wafer prices set to go higher, polysilicon prices have fluctuated somewhat this week, but polysilicon supply has remained sufficient, making price hike unlikely, as downstream market is expected to weaken. Its price is expected to drop, in step with the trend for the industrial chain.
Wafer prices have risen this week, bucking the industrial trend, due to strained supply which has lasted two months. GCL-Poly, industry champion boasting 20% global share, has raised multi-si wafer prices this week, prompting other major suppliers to follow suit.
Prices have been driven upward, due to continuing projects after the June 30 schedule and strong demand from third-place players who are running at full capacity. The June 30 deferred demand is expected to let up in the second half of July, driving down multi-si wafer prices and relieving downstream players from excessively high cost. With less June 30 deferred demand and items of "Top Runner Program" having yet to start construction, demand for mono-si wafers has dropped, which may prompt leading mono-si wafer suppliers to cut prices further, in order to stimulate demand and boost market shares.
Trend for PV cells diverges among different production sites this week. Backed by indigenous demand, Chinese suppliers disregard price-cut request by downstream module firms but are expected to stay put for another week at most before facing real pressure from the demand side. Given wafer price hike and continuing strong demand, Taiwan and third-place suppliers have raised their prices further, but the price hike has slackened, on the request of U.S. customers.
Bolstered by June 30 deferred demand, module prices have remained stable but are expected to weaken in the first half of July, given market consensus on demand decline in the second half of the month.
(Analysis provided by Jason Tsai, analyst of EnergyTrend.)