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PV Industry Price Trend: Wafer and Cell Prices Sustain Pressure, Module Operating Rate Has Yet to Elevate Significantly

published: 2021-07-16 11:08


Polysilicon quotations had slightly fluctuated this week, where a reduction was seen in the overall polysilicon prices. An apparent loosening has not been seen from polysilicon quotations after the incessant stalemate between the polysilicon and wafer sectors, where the average prices of mono and multi polysilicon are currently sitting at roughly RMB 205/kg and RMB 105/kg respectively. Owing to production schedules and stocking needs, downstream wafer businesses have started to obtain materials, though most orders are relatively small, and are merely able to maintain 1-2 weeks of production. Several polysilicon businesses have commented that the concluded prices of polysilicon have slightly deteriorated when dealing with a small portion of regular clients, where mono polysilicon is generally concluded at RMB 200-205/kg, and the majority of quotations are maintained at above RMB 205/kg.

An observation on the production, operation, and shipment status of the polysilicon sector indicates that out of the three polysilicon businesses that were previously in overhaul, one business in Xinjiang is carrying on with overhaul procedures, while the other two have resumed production. Domestic production of polysilicon is expected to sit at above 40K tons with a gradual increase in volume coming from businesses that have resumed operation in July, which will comparatively alleviate the previous short supply status. On the demand end, the module sector has somewhat increased the operating rate compared to June, and the progressive release of new wafer capacity from both upstream and downstream will effectively support the subsequent demand of the polysilicon market. With most polysilicon businesses leaning towards forfeiting profit in long-term orders, the interval for polysilicon quotations has been relatively large under the high price levels of sporadic and urgent orders, while the supply and demand structure is going to be mitigated in the short term, though the depletion of polysilicon prices is also going to be constrained.


Wafer quotations continued to loosen this week, and the quotation interval for multi-Si wafers is steadily expanding. Small batches of mono-Si wafer orders have been successively concluded after partial businesses retracing their quotations, which prompted G1 and M6 mono-Si wafers to sit firmly at RMB 4.62/pc and RMB 4.72/pc in respective average price this week. As for large-sized wafers, M10 and G12 wafers are now at RMB 5.87/pc and RMB 7.53/pc respectively. The low operating rate of the cell market has impeded a rise of wafer demand, and the overall transaction has been on the lower end in the market. Under the recent drastic reduction in cell prices, the downstream sector is evidently suppressing the prices when purchasing wafers, and wafer prices are expected to remain in a turbulent state within the short term.

The multi-Si market has significantly abated recently, where the quotations from first to second-tier businesses are roughly RMB 1.85-2.1/pc, though second to third-tier businesses are experiencing relatively chaotic quotations at approximately RMB 1.6-1.9/pc. Most multi-Si businesses have compromised by a great extent in order conclusions, yet the downstream sector is still making purchases based on needs, and the slight fallback of multi-Si demand from the end sector recently has generated fewer concluded orders in the market.


Cell quotations had diminished in the degree of depletion this week, and SME businesses continued to relinquish their products under truncated prices. After ceaseless reduction in prices, the cell market continues to transmit the pressure of procurement to the upstream sector, and partial cell businesses are no longer downward adjusting their prices having successively signed for orders this week. However, a small segment of second and third-tier businesses have lowered their quotations by RMB 0.2-0.3/W compared to mainstream market quotations in order to generate interests among buyers due to concerns over lack of concluded orders. Mono-Si G1 cell is maintained at RMB 1.05/W in average price this week, whereas Mono-Si M6 cell now sits at about RMB 0.98/W in mainstream quotation, and the quotations for mono-Si M10 and G12 have reduced to roughly RMB 1.00/W. As for multi-Si cells, a similar status to the upstream sector is exhibited, where market quotations are disarranged due to shrunken end demand and the relinquishing of upstream wafers, and the quotation interval for first & second-tier businesses and SME businesses is comparatively larger at around RMB 0.72/W.


Modules remained sturdy on the whole this week, where partial makers had experienced expanded profitability in quotations. After the sizeable reduction in cell prices last week, module quotations have forfeited a certain degree of profit, where aside from the robust quotes of several first-tier module makers, second and third-tier makers have slightly loosened their quotations, and mono-Si 395-405W module orders that are concluded at below RMB 1.65/W are gradually rising in quantity. Despite improvement in cost pressure during July, the overall operating rate for the module market has yet to significantly elevate, where partial integrated module makers are exhibiting strong traits in a wait-and-see attitude after taking into account cost and orders, and SME businesses are steadily lowering prices and reducing inventory from a smaller level of burden. Prices in the PV glass market are stabilizing, where the 3.2mm glass is maintained at RMB 21-23/㎡ in the exercise price, and the 2.0mm glass is now at RMB 17-20/㎡. The surge in the cost of PV glass actuated by the previous rise of raw material prices has suppressed the profitability of PV glass prices, and the market is currently at the low price point, where partial module makers have started purchasing PV glasses in order to respond to the bounce back of demand during the second half of the year.


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