There are many polysilicon plants being overhauled in August and September. Also, the demand of si-wafer in August is still high. Therefore, although the tough condition of supply in polysilicon has improved slightly, the obvious drop in price can’t be seen in the short term. On the other hand, canceling orders and shortening capacity have started occurring in the downstream market in China and resulted in the decline in price; under the condition of different up and downstream price trends, the middle and downstream manufacturers have started purchasing lower-level si-wafer in order to maintain profit.
The first demarcation point of demand of the Section 201 petition is in the end of August. After reaching September, the demand from America is expected to decline noticeably. This will in turn lead to the drop of polysilicon price in the supply chain.
The overhauling of polysilicon plants will continue until September. In addition, some of the manufacturers will begin to decrease their supplies and prepare their material in advance in order to maintain their downstream si-wafer capacity during the overhauling process. These will deepen the shortfall in supply caused by the overhauling. Under the influence of high demand on the overseas downstream market, polysilicon price this week still has great power. This week, polysilicon’s spot price on the market in China reached RMB 145/kg, while the polysilicon price of Korean manufacturers reached US$ 17/kg.
Under the impact of high polysilicon price and shortfall, the supply of si-wafer is under limitation at the same time. Due to the high amount of end market demand from overseas, si-wafer price was just like last week’s. Spot price of ultra high-performance multi-si wafer has increased slightly this week, and the normal price is US$ 0.7-0.71/pc. However, there are a small number of deals which have higher prices. As to mono-si wafer, the price has remained stable. However, because mono-si wafer’s leading manufacturer Longi will spend a week in September upgrading its electronic equipment, the production of nearly 50 million pieces of its mono si wafers will be affected. During the same period, many middle to small mono-si wafer manufacturers will also try to meet the requirements of China’s “Top Runner Program” by the end of September. These will all lead to a potential increase in mono-si wafer prices.
The demand which the Section 201 petition has brought in is still high. Plus, overseas demand of tier-one module factories in China is strong enough. These have allowed the PV cell prices of the big manufacturers to be maintained. However, under the impact of China’s cooling market, small and medium sized manufacturers in China are gradually starting to feel more pressure.
Because the acceptable cost for downstream manufacturers has reached to the top, all PV cell prices this week have remained in the range of RMB 1.83/W and US$ 0.237/W. Under the expectation of the decline for downstream module price, PV cell may face severe competition in controlling prices. On the other hand, although mono-si PERC PV cell price steadilyremained at US$ 0.3-0.33/W, normal mono-si PV-cell price have slightly decreased by RMB 0.01/W to RMB 1.86-1.88/W.
Just like PV cell manufacturers, module manufacturers suffered price squeezes between up and downstream manufacturers. Under the impact of the increase of si-wafer price, upstream PV cell vendors have kept asking for lower prices. At the same time, downstream developing factories are continuing to require module makers to decrease their price because the FIT price is falling. Currently, because the orders of the module makers are coming from the tier-one industries, when facing the PV cell manufacturers, they have a better position in negotiation. Therefore, even if the price declines, they will still gain profits. However, due to the uncertain schedule of China’s demand in the future, module manufacturers will have to accept the downstream request of declining prices sooner or later. It will become the war of controlling prices between module manufacturers and PV cell manufacturers.