Photovoltaic Industry Price Trend: Polysilicon Prices Continue to Rise Marginally as Module Prices Descend from Mitigated Cost Pressure

published: 2021-04-08 17:35 | editor: | category: Price Trend


Polysilicon quotations continued to elevate this week, though the degree of increment had diminished for concluded prices. Due to the continuous wait-and-see attitude previously adhered by end project providers, and the declaration of GCL-Poly regarding no price increases, most polysilicon businesses had signed for long-term orders of April this week, and the degree of increment had decelerated for mainstream market prices, with a slight increase in concluded prices compared to last week. Mono polysilicon is now RMB 125/kg in average price, and can be concluded at RMB 125-128/kg for first-tier businesses, where the quotation for partial mono polysilicon is close to RMB 135/kg. Regarding multi polysilicon, the quotation remains robust thanks to the downstream demand, and rose to RMB 74/kg, where partial sporadic orders were concluded at almost RMB 78/kg.

An observation on the production, operation, and shipment status of the polysilicon sector indicates that partial players in Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia are currently in overhaul among the 10 domestic polysilicon businesses, and that the new production capacity as well as the continuous ascension in Inner Mongolia projects for GCL-Poly is expected to contribute to a marginal increase in the supply volume of polysilicon compared to the initial expectation, though the overall market will not arrive at the volume of March. As of early April, the manufacturing issue in Xinjiang has yet to ferment on the polysilicon end, where the pressure of the end sector has transmitted to the midstream wafer and cell sectors, and most polysilicon supply orders have been signed, thus the inflation of polysilicon has decelerated accordingly for mainstream businesses. On contrary, the supply of polysilicon remains constrained compared to wafer capacity, and the prices of polysilicon are expected to sustain a relatively apparent impact from the urgent and short-term orders of the downstream sector.


Wafer quotations remained stable on the weaker end this week, with a continuous rise in multi-Si wafer prices. After the loosening in cell quotations last week, the wafer sector is hit with a sizeable pressure in price reduction this week that can be seen from the apparent price suppression and weakened purchase willingness from downstream businesses. A number of first-tier mono-Si wafer businesses maintained on sturdy quotations, with centralized orders that were concluded successively, and a minor loosening has been seen quotations from second and third-tier businesses due to the lesser volume of orders. Mono-Si wafer prices are overall sturdy, where the average prices of G1 and M6 mono-Si wafers are now sitting at RMB 3.69/pc and RMB 3.78/pc respectively, and the average prices of M10 and G12 large-sized wafers have arrived at RMB 4.54/pc and RMB 6.16/pc respectively. Pertaining to multi-Si wafers, the domestic and overseas average prices have been upward adjusted to RMB 1.69/pc and US$0.229/pc respectively thanks to the marginal recovery in demand generated by the end sector and the exemption of conclusion pressure.

On the whole, partial businesses have lowered the utilization rate under the severe shortages of polysilicon and the bargaining of downstream prices in the midst of the technological transformation in wafers as well as the constant increase in volume from the new production capacity that started from early 2021, though the robust demand of the cell market on wafers has also triggered a relatively constrained status in wafer products, which stabilizes the overall high level of mono-Si wafers. The gradual protruding of the cost performance in multi-Si wafers is followed by a slow inflation pattern.


Mono-Si cells remained stable on the weaker end this week, and multi-Si cells were comparatively prosperous. There were no evident adjustments in the quotations for mono-Si cells this week after the comprehensive loosening in quotations upon the reduction executed by first-tier businesses last week, though SME businesses were slightly panicking due to the pressure in inventory, and were prompted to ship their products that led to a possible downward trend in partial low-level quotations. Among mono-Si cells, G1 cell has a lower production capacity on the whole, and is focused on overseas orders. The average prices of G1 and M6 mono-Si cells are now at RMB 0.89/pc and RMB 0.85/pc respectively, and the average prices of M10 and G12 large-sized cells have arrived at RMB 0.9/pc and RMB 0.91/pc respectively.

The recovery in demand for multi-Si cells is gradually tightening the supply of multi-Si resources, and the upstream supply volume of multi-Si wafers that are currently in production is essentially digested by the demand of the cell sector, where a few first-tier businesses have slightly adjusted the quotations for new orders of April, and partial old orders remained on stable quotations. Hence, the domestic and overseas average prices of multi-Si cells have risen to RMB 0.63/W and US$0.085/W respectively.

After a quarter of sluggish shipment, the utilization rate of the cell market has somewhat declined in April, and several businesses may decelerate on the progress of production expansion, while a drastic reduction in prices may not continue for cells owing to the obstinately high wafer prices. However, the significant price reduction in the glass market is expected to recover the intensity in inventory pull for the module end on cells.


A minor loosening was seen in the module sector this week, and multi-Si modules were comparatively stabilized in prices. Subsequent to the price reduction in upstream sectors of cells and auxiliary materials, module makers have received a certain degree of mitigation in operation pressure, followed by fractional room for price decrement in modules. Although mainstream businesses maintained on robust quotations this week, a certain extent of profit forfeiting was evident due to the compelling level of price maneuverability during order negotiation. A number of second and third-tier businesses had exhibited apparent loosening in quotations this week, though the volume of concluded transactions remained low, and the end sector is adhering to a wait-and-see attitude without being too willing in signing for long-term orders. The average prices of the 325-335W/395-405W and the 355-365/425-435W mono-Si modules have dropped to RMB 1.59/W and RMB 1.65/W respectively. An observation on the overall status of the domestic module market indicates that the module sector has received a certain extent of room for price reduction after a drop in cell and glass prices that was seen in early April upon the reduced operating rate from module makers, as well as the continuous rise in volume for large-sized modules of 500W and above. However, an extensive release of volume has yet to occur for the existing module demand, and the domestic market still needs to deliver the low-price module orders signed during 2020, thus the recovery in the utilization rate for module makers may not be optimistic within the short term, where the module market is likely to continue to recover upon a further initiation in the end demand that will take 1-2 weeks.

Glass quotations had declined evidently this week, where the prices of the 3.2mm and 2.0mm glasses are now sitting at RMB 27-30/㎡ and roughly RMB 20-22/㎡ respectively. The demand for glass has weakened as partial module makers plan to constantly lowering the operating rate, and this round of glass quotations are expected to deteriorate primarily owing to how the glass market is maintaining the balance between supply and demand for the existing production capacity, and suppressing a further influx of new capacity after the relevant policy relaxes the establishment of photovoltaic glass. The particular result has also provided a certain degree of room for price reduction in modules, and managed to avoid a continuous accumulation of inventory by allowing for a smooth glass shipment.


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