Photovoltaic Industry Price Trend: Polysilicon Prices May Still Surge in April amidst the Reducing Quotations from Sizeable Inventory Pressure in Cells

published: 2021-04-01 17:26 | editor: | category: Price Trend

Polysilicon

Polysilicon quotations continued to rise this week, though the overall concluded prices were predominantly constant to that of last week. As the wafer market is affected by the reduced prices and the diminished procurement demand in the downstream sector, wafer businesses have been relatively cautious in purchases after most polysilicon businesses successively announced the list prices for April, and the orders of partial regular clients were concluded based on the quotations from last week. Polysilicon businesses are now comparatively reluctant in sales when facing orders that are new or in small quantity without offering easy bargains. With a number of sporadic orders being supported by the demand, a continuous ascension has been seen in prices, where the average prices of mono and multi polysilicon have now actuated to RMB 121/kg and RMB 72/kg respectively.

An observation on the production, operation, and shipment status of the polysilicon sector indicates that the minor impact on the domestic output owing to the overhaul of partial polysilicon businesses and the energy consumption policy during the first quarter had prompted first-tier businesses to produce on a full load level to guarantee on the market supply, which propelled the domestic production volume of polysilicon to around 108K tons. Two 10,000-level businesses have yet to return to the normal output level due to the equipment maintenance and overhaul of businesses in Xinjiang, as well as the energy consumption policy imposed in Inner Mongolia, and one of them has lowered the operating rate. Looking into the subsequent market, the polysilicon market is expected to be even more constrained as two businesses have planned to implement overhaul during April, and the volume of imported polysilicon is anticipated to rise continuously that will relatively mitigate the severe domestic shortage of polysilicon. The supply volume should remain constant to that of March, where the prices are likely to surge attributable to the urgent and short orders.

Wafers

Wafer quotations were overall sturdy this week, with a slight increase in the quotations of multi-Si wafers. The downstream sector had gradually decelerated on the procurement of wafers this week, and the signs of weakened demand had stabilized wafer quotations for first-tier businesses, whereas second and third-tier businesses were slightly insufficient in bargaining power when negotiating for April orders, which resulted in a declination in concluded prices. The overall lethargic sentiment in transactions and the ongoing bargaining phase have generated stableness in the prices of multi-Si wafers, with the average prices of G1 and M6 mono-Si wafers now sitting at RMB 3.69/pc and RMB 3.78/pc, and the average prices of large-sized M10 and G12 wafers have reached RMB 4.54/pc and RMB 6.16/pc respectively. The support from the demand, coupling with the overall restricted supply of multi-Si wafer resources in the market, have resulted in a minor short supply status in the product, followed by a marginal increase in market quotations. The domestic and overseas average prices of multi-Si wafers have been upward adjusted to RMB 1.59/pc and US$0.216/pc respectively.

A number of wafer businesses have adjusted the utilization rate under the alarming shortages of polysilicon. The market demand for G1 wafers was comparatively balanced this week as partial businesses completed the transition of production capacity for M6 to G1, though the shortage remains as the dominant factor for the operating rate and prices of businesses, and it is still highly possible that polysilicon will initiate an inflation in wafers during April alongside the progressively released installation demand prior to the 630 deadline.

Cells

Cell quotations began loosening this week, especially with mono-Si, high-efficiency, and large-sized products. Leading cell businesses have announced the list prices for April, where a minor increase has been seen in the quotations for multi-Si products, and the reduction in G1 mono-Si cells has been relatively slow compared to that of 166 and 210. Judging by the status of transaction conclusions in the market, this round of price adjustments in cells was primarily owing to how the downstream sector is slowing down on stocking and reducing the operating rate to respond to the existing high costs, which induced a gradually elevating inventory level in the cell market. The accumulated M6 inventory has downward adjusted the average price of the product to RMB 0.85/W, whereas G1 remains supported by the demand derived from the postponed overseas demand last year, and sustained a downward adjustment to RMB 0.89/W in the average price. The inventory of large-sized cells are mainly purchased and reduced by first-tier businesses, where the average prices of M10 and G12 have been lowered to RMB 0.9/W and RMB 0.91/W respectively as there is yet to be an extensive release of market demand.

The recovery in demand for multi-Si cells is gradually tightening the supply of multi-Si resources, and impelled the domestic and overseas average prices of multi-Si cells to RMB 0.59/W and US$0.08/W respectively, with a further increase in quotation expected.

At the current stage, the decelerated stocking pace and reduction in operating rate from the downstream sector for the purpose of responding to the existing high costs have resulted in a steady rise in cell inventory for the market, and partial cell businesses are starting to exhibit anxiety by willing to dump their products with low prices.

Modules

Module quotations remained sturdy this week, where the shipment status for first and second-tier makers is gradually differentiating. The module end was relatively conservative pertaining to purchases during February and March when an inflation was seen in the upstream supply chain, and static regarding a price rise remained unabated, though the end sector was not willing to accept the continuous inflation of modules in reality. The average prices of the 325-335W/395-405W and the 355-365/425-435W mono-Si modules are now at RMB 1.61/W and RMB 1.68/W. Pertaining to businesses, the orders of first-tier module makers have been relatively centralized since late March, with successive conclusions this week, and the overall concluded prices had slightly risen compared to that of last week. There were no apparent fluctuations in second and third-tier makers, and the overall volume of concluded transactions was on the lower end. Some module makers have reflected on the significant perception of a fallback in market demand, and are slightly passive in negotiations, with a possibility of being unable to maintain on prices. These module makers mentioned that they will begin adjusting on their operating rate from April to roughly 60%.

Glass quotations had slightly depleted this week, where the prices of 3.2mm and 2.0mm glasses are now at RMB 36-38/㎡ and roughly RMB 27-31/㎡. As partial module makers are planning to continue to lower the operating rate, the demand for glass has weakened accordingly, followed by a minor decrease in glass quotations this week, and a gradually diminishing high-level glass quotations in the market. Second and third-tier businesses possess comparatively weaker bargaining power, and the concluded price was merely around RMB 2/㎡ this week.

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