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Global Trends: Wafer Price War Accelerates Elimination of Obsolete Capacity. High-Efficiency Modules Trending Among End Customers.

published: 2020-05-28 17:30


Impacted by the downward trend of mono-Si wafer prices, a wait-and-see sentiment has taken a firm hold of the polysilicon market this week. Judging from the situation of the polysilicon market at the end of May, there were some polysilicon companies raising their quoted prices. The overall polysilicon price trend has generally stabilized as a result. Some wafer companies, on the other hand, were pressuring the polysilicon manufacturers to cut prices when purchasing raw material. However, this was more widespread among the B-list manufacturers, which has pushed the mono-grade polysilicon down to RMB 55 /KG.

Looking ahead, the prices of polysilicon are expected to rebound in June. Given that the polysilicon manufacturers are gradually digesting their inventories, some Chinese manufacturers have carried out maintenance according to the plan and the supply of polysilicon was disrupted due to the maintenance plans of the non-Chinese polysilicon manufacturers.


Due to the industry leader of wafers slashing prices again on Monday, the market’s pressure to reduce the price was increased again this week. Across the entire PV supply chain, the overall wafer market was experiencing the most fluctuations. The mainstream products have been further pressured. The average price of G1 has fallen to RMB 2.53 /pc. The large-size mono-Si wafers (> 158.75mm) declined the most. The price difference between the two has narrowed to RMB 0.02 /pc.

Given that the overall wafer prices continued to be revised downward, the boron-doped mono-Si wafers and multi-Si wafers with weak demand will bear the brunt in the future, especially the multi-Si products. The current multi-Si wafer quoted prices have fallen below the cost of production of some companies. Manufacturers said that it has been difficult to keep the business running since the pandemic broke out. The free fall of mono-Si wafer prices has made it impossible for the multi-Si manufacturers to continue the production. Lately, multi-Si manufacturers have all been considering if they should suspend the production. In contrast, mono-Si wafers still have room to keep slashing their prices. Even after the most recent price adjustment, it is possible the industry leader of mono-Si wafers still has not reached the rock bottom. Some companies believe that as long as the price reduction can stimulate demand, they may follow suit and cut their prices.

PV Cells

The cell prices continued to fluctuate this week. The market quotations were chaotic. Suffering blows from the price reduction of wafers and the reduction of quoted prices from top-tier cell manufacturers, multi-Si cells with weak demand has once again hit the bottom. Their prices seemed to have bottomed out, however, there was indeed still room for price reductions. The average price of China’s multi-Si cells has slipped to RMB 0.5 /W. India, the main overseas market for multi-Si cells, does not inspire much optimism these days. The tender dates of multiple photovoltaic projects have been extended to mid-June. The future development of the local market still needs to be carefully observed.

Concerning the mono-Si cells, the leading companies have signed the purchase orders for June. The manufacturing capacity was tight. Consequently their bargaining power has not been affected. However, B- or C-list manufacturers with weak bargaining power were struggling to defend their quoted price for the orders in June. The quoted prices were obviously open for negotiation. And the cell prices continued to sink.


The global market prices of modules was still on a downward trend this week.  And the decline in overseas mono- and multi-Si modules was more obvious. Lately, the module market prices were struggling to maintain stability, given that the non-Chinese market demand was slow to recover. The non-Chinese average price of > 325W /> 385W mono-Si modules has plunged to US $ 0.22 /W.

The Chinese market has reserved 47 GW of storage space for photovoltaic development in 2020. Coupled with the approaching 630-deadline, the short-term change in demand is supposed to warrant a certain degree of optimism. However, the overall module quoted prices remained on a downward trajectory, which was mainly caused by a severe case of excess supply. The companies were fighting over limited orders, which led to price wars. Judging from the recent auction results, it was obvious that the prices of modules continued to hit new lows. The bids with modules made of large-size wafers were mostly successful. It is obvious that there is an upward shift in terms of the module efficiency.

(Image by torstensimon from Pixabay)

(Analysis provided by Sharon Chen, analyst at EnergyTrend. Translated by Emma Hsu, translator of TrendForce Corp.)

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