Photovoltaic Industry Price Trend: Module Sector May Face New Negotiation in Subsequent Market Amidst Rising Prices in the Overall Supply Chain

published: 2021-05-20 16:35 | editor: | category: Price Trend


Polysilicon quotations continued to rise this week, where both mono and multi polysilicon had increased simultaneously. The excess demand status in polysilicon recently has exceeded the market anticipation, with an unabated inflation tendency, and businesses have commented on the persistently constrained polysilicon orders while maintaining on a market quotation of RMB 160-170/kg. The downstream sector is obtaining orders by spontaneously elevating the prices, which enlarged the current mainstream quotation interval for mono polysilicon to RMB 163-182/kg. As for multi polysilicon, most polysilicon businesses had increased the prices of the product this week to ensure a certain degree of price difference compared to mono polysilicon, and the mainstream quotation had arrived at RMB 75-95/kg, though there were fewer concluded orders, whereas orders are expected to gradually finalize next week. 

An observation on the production, operation, and shipment status of the polysilicon sector indicates that three out of eleven domestic mono polysilicon businesses are currently in the midst of production line overhaul, which is expected to induce a certain level of impact to the domestic production volume of polysilicon during May, and the MoM growth may fall short of expectation. The production line overhaul for two Xinjiang businesses, as well as the effect by the energy consumption policy sustained by one Inner Mongolia business, are expected to restrict partial output. Having entered late-May, businesses are about to successively finalize the quotations for orders of next month, and the comparatively lower concluded prices from mainstream polysilicon businesses are anticipated to rise alongside the market status due to the impact from sporadic orders and the raised prices from the downstream sector. Polysilicon will remain on a larger concluded price interval, and the overall polysilicon market will exhibit a thriving status, despite being in an off season. 


Wafer quotations continued to elevate this week, with apparent inflation seen in multi-Si  and mono-Si M10 wafers. Longi has recently announced on the new list prices for wafers at a rise of almost 10-12%, and most wafer businesses are following up on the price adjustment with the cost of wafers drastically increasing under the continuously surging upstream polysilicon prices. The average prices of G1 and M6 mono-Si wafers are now sitting at RMB 4.3/pc and RMB 4.45/pc respectively, and the average price of M10 wafer is now at RMB 5.39/pc. Wafer businesses continue to adjust their production arrangements under the overall market status of material shortages to reduce the old capacity utilization that is high in cost, and the volume of self-consumption in wafers is also increasing for leading businesses. The downstream sector is still willing in accepting the new round of wafer inflation, though the cycle of most orders has been reduced to one week or two weeks, and there are fewer long-term orders of one month or longer. 

In terms of multi-Si wafers, the tighter supply of medium-efficiency resources recently has actuated the average concluded prices in the country and overseas to RMB 2.2/W and US$0.3/W, and the inflation tendency in quotations is expected to persist. 


An observation on the overall cell market indicates that the demand for G1 and M6 cells has been propelled alongside a recovered operating rate from the module end, and that the upstream wafer sector has a higher tolerance in polysilicon inflation by incorporating the anticipated polysilicon prices in the rise of quotations, which induced a continuous transmission of cost pressure to the downstream sector. The insufficient supply of wafers continues to impact the operating rate of cells in May, and integrated businesses are also producing cells using their existing wafer inventory. M10 and G12 cells are currently in market promotion, and with the demand yet to release in an extensive scale, downstream businesses are implementing procurement through lowering the cost of cells, which further contracts the price differences between M10 & G12 cells and M6. 

Cell quotations continued to elevate this week, with cell businesses continuing the bargaining with the downstream sector. Second and third-tier businesses are successively adjusting their quotations after leading domestic cell businesses carry on with the rise of quotations, which ascended the average prices of G1 and M6 to RMB 0.98/W and RMB 1.0/W, whereas large-sized M10 and G12 cells have risen to roughly RMB 0.99/W that is essentially identical to the price of M6 cells. Partial module makers in the downstream sector have expressed discontent regarding how the cell sector continues to negotiate on prices, where the previous orders that were signed on monthly prices are now signed on weekly prices, and most first-tier module makers are adhering to an apparent wait-and-see attitude, with insignificant willingness in obtaining goods. The comparatively lower purchase volume for second and third-tier module makers makes them more willing in accepting inflation. 

Multi-Si cells continue to rise in prices owing to the strained supply of upstream wafers, and reduce in capacity owing to the market differentiation on the supply and demand side. The hoarding of inventory prior to the duty adjustment for the Indian market has expanded on the wiggle room for multi-Si products, where the domestic and overseas average prices of multi-Si cells have escalated to RMB 0.8/W and US$0.11/W respectively. 


Module quotations had slightly fluctuated this week, and module makers are attempting to continue to increase in prices under the constantly surging quotations for upstream products, with varied weekly prices being the current norm of the module market. The average prices of the 325-335W/395-405W and the 355-365/430-440W mono-Si modules are now RMB 1.65/W and RMB 1.70/W respectively, whereas the average prices of M10 and G12 modules have been adjusted to RMB 1.75/W, which affects the potential demand of the end sector to a certain extent. Module makers have recently commented on the continuous bargaining between the module market and both the upstream and downstream sectors, and that the cell prices are still transmitting the inflation pressure from the upstream sector, whereas the negotiation attitude of the end sector remains unmitigated. Despite static surrounding module quotations of RMB 1.8/W in the market, transactions have not been concluded. The negotiated prices between module makers and the downstream sector in early 2021 are lower than the existing market prices, which offer almost no profits for businesses, and may result in a new negotiation from the module end. Module makers are now stuck in a predicament. 

Glass quotations had once again depleted by a small margin this week, where 3.2mm and 2.0mm glasses are now sitting at RMB 22-23/㎡ and RMB 19-22/㎡ respectively. The inventory of the glass market is gradually elevating from the reduced operating rate of the module market, as well as the decelerated shipment of glass. On the other hand, the glass market has been exhibiting signs of risen cost for the purchase of raw materials, and an inflation in PV glasses is possible owing to the amplified cost and downstream procurement, with the end demand gradually ascending. 


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