This week the prices started to show signs of fluctuations. Only a few days into the second quarter, it could already be seen that the situation, where the demand was delayed, was getting more serious due to the overseas COVID-19 pandemic. The prices of the polysilicon were also affected by the decrease in the prices quoted by the mono-Si wafer manufacturers. Although the polysilicon manufacturers were willing to concede on price, the buyers nonetheless were slow to place orders due to their expectation that the prices would decline further. They have adopted a wait-and-see attitude and do not place orders until the last minute.
The prices of wafers continued to decline. The volatility of the PV cell market has exerted pressure on the utilization rate of the wafers, especially the multi-Si products. The top-tier manufacturers could still defend their price while the second- and third-tier manufacturers could not. And in order to make the sale, some of the sale prices were as low as RMB 1.2 /pc. The overall transaction volume was relatively low. Regarding the mono-Si products, responding to the weakening demand, a small portion of manufacturers have discontinued their production. The overall supply was nevertheless quite sufficient.
Shortly after the Tomb Sweeping Festival, the sell-off of the PV cell inventory was getting more and more rampant, which was mainly due to the impact of overseas pandemics. Due to the delay of the overall demand in the US and European markets, manufacturers kept demanding the delivery to be delayed or simply canceled the orders. And it was becoming evident that the preferences of overseas markets were shifting from M2 to G1. The cell manufacturers were finding it hard to export and had to resort to sell-off. India, usually a big market for the multi-Si products, could not give the market a much-needed boost, due to the coronavirus lockdown. Consequently, the prices of multi-Si products continued their downward trajectory.
Although the prices of modules were on a slow downward slide this week, the overall transaction volume was measly. The overseas demand plummeted, which made delayed deliveries the order of the day. The demand was limited in both China and the rest of the world, resulting in deeply pessimistic market sentiment. Throughout the module supply chain, the overall supply was already adequate, which put the prices under even greater pressure. The polarization in terms of the prices quoted by the top and 2nd-tier manufacturers was becoming more and more evident: Already vulnerable to the price pressure, the 2nd- or 3rd-tier manufacturers all lowered their prices to clear inventory, given that the overseas customers demanded order cancellations or delayed deliveries. However, their progress was still slow. The pandemic in the European and American markets has not yet reached the peak at the moment, coupled with the obviously weakening demand, it is estimated that the prices of modules will continue to fall.
(Analysis provided by Sharon Chen, analyst at EnergyTrend. Translated by Emma Hsu, translator of TrendForce Corp.)