Photovoltaic Industry Price Trend: Risen Cost of Cells and Modules Actuates Increasing Prices amidst Unabated Inflation Status of Polysilicon

published: 2021-04-22 16:48 | editor: | category: Price Trend

Polysilicon

Polysilicon quotations were once again adjusted upward this week, and businesses have gradually begun negotiating for the polysilicon orders of May. The intensity of inflation for multi polysilicon has amplified after the successive upward adjustments in downstream wafers and cells, and the prices of a small volume of urgent and sporadic orders have propelled the average price of mono polysilicon to RMB 135/kg, whereas the concluded price for partial mono polysilicon has surpassed RMB 140/kg. A number of first-tier businesses have fully signed for April orders, and are now unable to deliver any additional products, whereas partial polysilicon businesses have started to announce the list prices for May, with the basic price of mono polysilicon being more than RMB 135/kg. The inflation of polysilicon has not yet stabilized according to the existing market status. As for multi polysilicon, the quotations remained the same as that of last week, with an average price of RMB 74/kg. The continuous ascension in domestic polysilicon prices has actuated an inflation in overseas polysilicon, with the average price now risen to US$17.687/kg.

An observation on the production, operation, and shipment status of the polysilicon sector indicates that one additional domestic business has resumed operation, with a progressive release of capacity. The domestic production volume of multi polysilicon is expected to remain constant at 36K tons in April as there are now 11 operating polysilicon businesses. Businesses are currently focused on executing previous orders, and the continuous rise in polysilicon prices has prompted wafer businesses who haven’t signed on long-term orders to be extremely passive, whereas the reluctance of sales that can been in a number of polysilicon businesses has exacerbated the insufficient supply of the product, and resulted in a perpetually climbing trend in prices.

Wafers

Wafer quotations continued to elevate this week, and the demand for multi-Si wafers continues to recover. Most wafer businesses in the market have followed up on the upward adjustments made by wafer leaders CMC and Longi in the quotations of wafers, which resulted in a successive rise in the prices of major products for the mono-Si wafer market, among which the average prices for G1 and M6 mono-Si wafers are now at RMB 3.81/kg and RMB 3.98/kg. Regarding large-sized wafers, the quotation for M10 wafers has ascended to RMB 4.86/pc due to the new list prices disclosed by businesses, and the price of G12 wafers remained temporarily stable this week at RMB 6.33/kg. Pertaining to multi-Si wafers, quotations continued to recover this week owing to the improved end demand and the inflation in polysilicon procurement, with the domestic and overseas average prices now risen to RMB 1.85/pc and US$0.252/pc.

The primary factor for this round of upward adjustments in wafer prices lies on the cost pressure derived from the inflation in polysilicon, and there have been no significant fluctuations in the supply and demand of the mono-Si market, whereas the marginal increase in the preference of multi-Si wafers from the end sector is starting to diminish on the supply of multi-Si wafer resources.

Cells

Partial cell quotations had been upward adjusted this week, and the pressure of cost has transmitted to the downstream sector. The cell sector has implemented a corresponding rise in prices following the continuous increase in wafer quotations, though the overall degree has been relatively small taking into account the bearing capability of the downstream sector, with mono-Si and multi-Si cells fluctuating at the RMB 0.02-0.03/W and the RMB 0.03-0.05/W ranges. The quotation interval for G1 is contracting steadily under the weakening end demand and the rising prices, with the average price now being RMB 0.9/pc, whereas M6 cells are sitting on an essentially constant average price of RMB 0.85/pc due to the apparent pressure in inventory. The market of large-sized cells is comparatively sturdy, where the average prices of M10 and G12 have arrived at RMB 0.9/pc and RMB 0.91/pc respectively, though the profit level remains to be constrained as a number of businesses are suppressed by the commissioning cost of cells.

In comparison, the procurement of multi-Si resources has been arduous recently, and the overall market supply remains to be scarce. With the restricted supply of production capacity for multi-Si cells and the improved domestic and overseas demand, the domestic and overseas prices of multi-Si cells have been elevated to RMB 0.68/W and US$0.092/W this week.

Judging by the overall cell market, the continuous inflation in polysilicon that generated an increase in wafer quotations during mid-April is followed by an inflation implemented by cell leaders so as to reflect on the obstinately high cost of polysilicon. Owing to the incessant inflation in wafers, the overall utilization rate of cells has been reduced in April, with an anticipation regarding a rise in cell prices. A number of module makers are continuing on the purchases of cells, and the reduced negotiation time has prompted these makers to be even more aggressive in procurement compared to several weeks ago.

Modules

Mono and multi-Si modules were hit with a comprehensive yet minor inflation this week. The drastic reduction in glass prices previously has provided a breathing room for the module sector, who has to now, however, adjust on quotations to respond to the rising cost as an inflation signal has been seen in auxiliary materials, such as films and inverters, subsequent to the general rise in cell prices last week. The overall degree of adjustment for mono-Si modules is currently on the smaller end at RMB 0.02-0.03/W, which impelled the average prices of the 325-335W/395-405W mono-Si module and the 355-365/425-435W to RMB 1.62/W and RMB 1.7/W respectively. As for multi-Si modules, the elevated cost has generated another elevation in the domestic and overseas quotations for the 275-280 / 330-335W multi-Si module to RMB 1.42/W and US$0.193/W. Second and third-tier module makers had implemented a rather evident adjustment in prices this week, whereas partial first-tier makers are maintaining robust quotations, which may gradually clear up after the negotiation for May orders initiates next week.

A small fluctuation was still seen in glass quotations this week, where 3.2mm and 2.0mm glasses are now sitting at RMB 26-28/㎡ and roughly RMB 20-22/㎡. First-tier glass businesses are currently adhering to sturdy quotations, though lower quotations have been successively appearing in the market that offer additional wiggle room for module makers. However, as reported by businesses, first-tier businesses will not implement any prominent actions within the short term, and will follow on stable quotations, despite the relatively chaotic glass quotations in the market seen recently.

(Image:Slimdandy via Flickr CC BY 2.0)

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