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PV Industry Price Trend: Apparent Bargaining from Lowered Acceptance of the Downstream Sector amidst Incessantly Decelerated Inflation of Polysilicon and Wafers

published: 2021-09-09 17:35


Polysilicon prices remained on a minor inflation tendency this week, with a marginal increase seen in mono polysilicon prices. The constrained supply of polysilicon persists under the constantly elevating operating rate from downstream wafer businesses and the unimpeded release of new capacity. Mono polysilicon has arrived at RMB 205-215/kg in mainstream quotation this week, with a comparatively higher concluded price for partial sporadic orders under the actuation of demand.

An observation on the production, operation, and shipment status of the domestic polysilicon sector indicates that Zhongneng, among the 12 operating polysilicon businesses, is conducting a captive power plant overhaul recently, which will affect partial output. Owing to the reduced downstream production and the actual invigoration of end demand right now, polysilicon procurements, including wafer foundry subsequent to downstream businesses’ direct purchases of polysilicon, have been aggressive, and further exacerbate the confined supply of polysilicon. According to the feedback of polysilicon businesses, the simultaneous domestic policy regarding environmental protection and energy consumption has resulted in a rising trend in the prices of raw materials for polysilicon, and the increment is particular evident in the silicon powder market. The increase of cost and downstream demand have provided a certain extent of room for inflation in polysilicon.


Wafer quotations continued to ascend this week, with a particularly apparent degree of inflation seen in multi-Si wafers. The upstream inflation trend has been rational since mid-2021, and the level of inflation for mono-Si wafers had been slightly inferior previously. With the rise of end demand comes a magnified procurement demand from cell businesses, which continues to elevate wafer shipment, while the increase in polysilicon procurement and operating rate from leader wafer businesses has restricted the wafer output of other businesses, especially with the provision of large-sized product resources that is now slightly limited. After two weeks of signaling for an inflation, the downstream sector is successively accepting the outcome, followed by gradually concluded orders.

A sizable increase in multi-Si wafer orders has been seen recently from the propulsion of overseas demand. The restricted capacity for multi-Si wafers, coupled with the power of discourse for the product that is centralized on few businesses, had stimulated a further increment to RMB 2.35/pc and US$0.321/pc in domestic and overseas prices this week.


Cell quotations remained sturdy at a high price level this week, with low price resources being successively sold. The continuous inflation of upstream raw materials, polysilicon, and wafers have provided a certain degree of actuation for the price increase of cells. Mono-Si cells have been experiencing a relatively decelerated inflation since the end of August, and have yet to risen to the previous high point, due to the comparatively differentiated competition structure of cells over the upstream sector, as well as the incessant pressure applied on the cell sector by module makers. The acceptance of the downstream sector has now lowered significantly, where the bargaining between several businesses and downstream participants becomes palpable.

The visible inflation of multi-Si products from the upstream sector has triggered an increase in the prices of multi-Si cells accordingly, and low price resources are now exceedingly scarce. The overall quotations of multi-Si cells are now above RMB 0.8/W.


Module quotations had gone up slightly this week due to cost pressure. Module makers are now forced to increase their prices to respond to the price adjustments by the upstream industry chain, among which M6 mono-Si PERC module has risen to roughly RMB 1.78/W, while M10 and G12 mono-Si PERC modules have now returned to RMB 1.8/W in mainstream prices. Owing to the restricted degree of endurance from the end sector, the overall acceptance remains low, with merely marginal compromises in partial robust demand. There are only a small number of concluded orders, while others are still stuck in the bargaining phase, and a number of SME module makers are sustaining increasing cost pressure.

Glass procurements had successively concluded this week, where the quotations of glasses with various thickness had all risen. After the inflation signals emitted in the market last week, orders have been sequentially concluded this week, and the cost of PV glass has somewhat elevated due to the inflation in soda ash and natural gas, which resulted in an increment in quotations from glass businesses, though it is relatively difficult for partial first-tier businesses to increase their prices when handling orders from regular clients. 3.2mm and 2.0mm PV glasses are currently sitting at RMB 24-28/㎡ and roughly RMB 20-22/㎡ respectively.

(Image: zak zak via Flickr CC BY 2.0)

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