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PV Industry Price Trend: Midstream Sector Continues with Inventory Reduction as Polysilicon Quotations Remain Sturdy on the Weaker End during Bargaining Phase

published: 2021-07-22 16:47


Polysilicon quotations had remained sturdy on the weaker end this week, with unabated pressure in price suppression from the downstream sector. Downstream wafer businesses have further lowered their prices recently, which is followed by a number of businesses, while the polysilicon sector continues to bargain with the downstream sector. The price reduction in wafers has prompted downstream businesses to constantly suppress the prices during procurement, which resulted in the decrement of polysilicon prices. However, most polysilicon businesses are free from inventory pressure right now, and are able to sign and ship orders successively, thus a drastic fluctuation in polysilicon prices will not be seen within the short term, while these businesses will be equipped with a relatively stronger bargaining power that will stabilize the prices of polysilicon. The current average price of the mono polysilicon market is sitting at roughly RMB 205/kg.

An observation on the production, operation, and shipment status of the polysilicon sector indicates that one out of the eleven operating businesses will carry on with overhaul until August, and several businesses are constrained in output due to power restrictions. The production volume may be less than anticipated in July. Owing to the diminishing end demand recently, the continuous reduction in wafer and cell prices has forced polysilicon prices to decrease as well. The new wave of price bargaining has been initiated now that the end of the month has arrived, and the overall supply of the polysilicon market will comparatively decrease next month as various polysilicon businesses announce their overhaul plans for August, whereas the requirement of stocking from the successive release of new wafer capacity will result in a restricted degree of inflation for polysilicon.


Wafer quotations had slightly depleted this week, especially with the unabated declining tendency of multi-Si products. The wafer sector has yet to occupy an advantageous position from the recent bargaining with the upstream polysilicon sector, where a number of businesses are carrying on with the adoption of low operating rate to respond to the high cost of raw materials under a relatively sluggish level of orders, which also adequately lowered the inventory pressure and brought down the price level. In terms of mono-Si prices, a certain leading wafer business had reduced the quotation for mono-Si M6 wafers this week, and other variations are maintained at stabilized quotations, followed by a similar implementation from businesses who were initially upholding a wait-and-see attitude. M6 mono-Si wafer has now reduced to RMB 4.54/pc in average price, while G1 mono-Si wafer is sitting firmly at RMB 4.62/pc. Large-sized wafer products continue to remain constant in prices.

Multi-Si wafers are exhibiting a descending trend in quotations, with enhanced difficulties in shipment. The insufficient dynamics in the inventory pull for multi-Si wafers imputable to the obstinately high raw material prices and the weaker cost-performance ratio of the product have lowered the domestic and overseas prices to RMB 0.68/pc and US$0.094/pc respectively, where the price difference between the quotations and the previous prices is gradually contracting.


Cell quotations continued to loosen this week, and the overall status of last week had been carried to this week. Mono-Si M10 cell orders have marginally increased thanks to the transition of end demand, and the quotations had slightly reduced. The reduction in prices for mono-Si M6 cells becomes apparent due to the excess supply in the market, with the mainstream price this week fluctuating at RMB 0.97/W. The new round of price negotiation is on the verge of initiation as the end of the month approaches, and it is expected that several businesses will still attract orders through truncated prices since the cell market remains on a low operating rate due to multiple factors, including higher cost, accumulated inventory, and weaker downstream demand.

In terms of multi-Si cells, the demand has yet to recover recently, and market quotations remain chaotic, where concluded prices are still loosening despite sturdy quotations from first-tier cell businesses. The impeded shipment from second and third-tier businesses, as well as the evident relinquishing mentality, have enabled the domestic and overseas average prices to jump back to RMB 0.68/W and US$0.095/W respectively. 


The prices of the module market this week were relatively stable, with minor loosening seen from the quotations of a number of businesses. Module cost has slightly lowered alongside the downward adjustments in the prices from the upstream industry chain, and the quotations of first-tier makers are comparatively stable primarily owing to the orders for this month that had been signed in early July. The overall shipment has stabilized. SME makers, who implement flexible operations, are particularly evident in quotation adjustments. Various makers have conducted corresponding price adjustments in accordance with market changes so as to receive a stable stream of orders. An observation on the recent domestic tenders for ground power station indicates that bids have been won at roughly RMB 1.83/W, which is a marginal fallback compared to the previous level. Some first-tier makers commented that the wait-and-see attitude from the end market is now amplified under the loosening of upstream quotations, and the negotiation for August orders is expected to commence starting from next week. Module quotations may not stabilize in the short term.

Glass quotations remained stable on the whole this week, where 3.2mm glass is maintained at RMB 21-23㎡ in exercise price, while the 2.0mm glass now at RMB 17-20/㎡. The price difference between single-sided and bifacial modules is gradually shrinking, and module makers have started progressive glass procurement in order to respond to the rebound in demand during the second half of the year. There has been a constant increase in quote requests in the market, and a small number of glass businesses attempted in elevating the prices that have yet to conclude any orders. Glass shipment was smooth this week, though lacked inflation dynamics.

(Image:Intel Free Press via Flickr CC BY 2.0)

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