The solar market has calmed down to some extent after experiencing turmoil related to the new FiT scheme and policy changes that the Chinese government announced two weeks ago on 31 May. China’s PV industry will be entering a period of respite in 3Q18, and individual solar companies will be using this period to devise their next moves and wait for an opportune moment to expand again in the future.
The overall trading volume has declined this week as suppliers begin to scale back production and proceed with the maintenance of their production plants. However, spot trading prices continue to drop. Currently, the spot prices of multi-Si polysilicon in China are in the range of RMB 75-95/kg, while the spot prices of mono-Si polysilicon are in the range of RMB 100-115/kg. The difference between multi-Si and mono-Si polysilicon is still around RMB 20/kg. Outside China, polysilicon is traded per long-term contract, and the overall volume traded in the latest transactions is quite small. Therefore, there has been no noticeable changes in prices of polysilicon in the overseas markets.
First-tier mono-Si wafer suppliers unexpectedly lowered their prices significantly last week and caused a stir in the market. While prices of mono-Si wafers have been on a slide, first-tier multi-Si wafer suppliers have been cutting production and getting rid of excess inventory. Hence, the expectation of a large drop in multi-Si wafer prices is not as strong as before. Furthermore, some vertically integrated manufacturers have begun seeking quotations for multi-Si wafers in the recent period. This indicates the possibility of a turnaround in the supply chain for multi-Si products.
Currently, prices of mono-Si and multi-Si wafers are around RMB 3.65-3.75/pc and RMB 2.3-2.5/pc, respectively. Outside China, prices of mono-Si and multi-Si wafers are holding on at US$0.5/pc and US$ 0.3/pc, respectively.
Prices of mono-Si cells have corrected downward substantially this week in response to the decline in wafer prices. Prices of mono-Si cells in China are around RMB 1.32-1.40/W, while prices high-efficiency mono-Si cells are around RMB 1.40-1.45/W.
As for multi-Si cells, there are still instances where they are priced according to piece rather than watt in order to drive sales. Prices of standard multi-Si cells have come to RMB 4.1-4.2/pc, which is equivalent to about RMB 0.92/W. Prices of high-efficiency cells featuring black silicon are RMB 0.98/W on average. There are reports of major solar companies seeking quotations for multi-Si cell orders this week, so a significant amount of demand may be injected into this market in the near future.
Transactions in the module market are scant this week, reflecting the subsiding of demand in China just before 30 June. Chinese suppliers are now either scaling back or suspending production in preparation for the slow season. Prices of standard multi-Si modules are still around RMB 2.0-2.2/W. As for standard mono-Si modules, their prices are also maintained at the level of RMB 2.55/W, despite falling prices in the upstream. Compared with China, the overseas markets are more active. Module quotes in India have generally come to US$0.25-0.27/W. However, prices of actual transactions may go up to US$0.27-0.30/W if modules are shipped from third-party countries that are unaffected by trade barriers.