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PV Industry Price Trend: End Sector Forces an Incandescence State in Module Prices amidst Apparent Inflation from Upstream Sector

published: 2021-09-16 16:29


Polysilicon quotations continued to rise this week, where most concluded transactions had come from sporadic orders. The demand for sporadic polysilicon orders has ascended significantly amidst the continuously increasing operating rate from downstream wafer businesses, while most first-tier businesses are currently delivering products according to the September orders that were previously locked on, with essentially no additional products for sales, and individual businesses are also successively signing for October orders. The quotations for partial sporadic orders have slightly risen under the gradually confined supply status of polysilicon, and the mainstream quotations of mono polysilicon and multi polysilicon have now arrived at roughly RMB 215/kg and RMB 105/kg respectively.

An observation on the production, operation, and shipment status of the domestic polysilicon sector indicates that one business in Jiangsu among the 12 operating businesses is currently in the middle of overhaul for its production lines that has marginally affected the output, while other mainstream businesses are essentially operating under a full load status. The simultaneous domestic policy regarding energy consumption has diminished 90% of production for industrial silicon for the Yunnan region between September and December, and the inflation in silicon powder used for multi polysilicon is expected to become prominent in the subsequent market. With the continuously releasing demand for downstream cells and module right now, the procurement for wafer materials has become obstinately high, and polysilicon prices are expected to elevate steadily prior to the depletion of raw material inventory for cells and modules in the downstream sector.


Wafer quotations had carried on with the rising trend this week, with multi-Si wafers temporarily stabilized in prices. Longi announced the latest list prices this week, and a significant MoM increase of approximately 5% was seen, despite a partial laggard play. The adjusted prices have stimulated a small fraction of businesses to follow up. G1 and M6 mono-Si wafers are now sitting at RMB 5.15/pc and RMB 5.25/pc respectively. The constantly rising operating rate from downstream cell businesses has resulted in a continuous recovery in wafer demand, which stimulated an increase in the overall operating rate for wafers, especially with the output ratio in large-sized products. M10 wafer quotations from first-tier businesses have risen to RMB 6.41/pc, which is roughly 20% more than that of M6.

Multi-Si wafers are seen with slightly chaotic quotations. The previous inflation tendency has started to impact the downstream demand, whereas the gradually increasing demand for mono-Si wafers from the Indian market has prompted partial businesses to decelerate on their downstream procurement. With the overall multi-Si quotations now stabilized, and low-level resources progressively diminishing, the domestic and overseas prices of the product are now at RMB 2.35/pc and US$0.321/pc respectively.


Cell quotations remained predominantly stable this week, while the cost pressure of the cell sector continues. Most cell businesses are gradually increasing their operating rate and accepting this round of wafer inflation amidst the steadily recovering demand and the elevated operating rate from downstream module makers, and the overall operating status of the market has drastically improved compared to that of last month. The cell sector has witnessed a slight decrease in the demand for end procurement after the previous inflation, and is now less willing to accept high-level prices. Cell products of various sizes have basically arrived at the previous high point, of which M6 cell is now priced at RMB 1.06/W, while large-sized M10 and G12 cells have arrived at RMB 1.06/W and RMB 1.04/W respectively under risen costs and the invigoration from downstream demand. Cell prices are expected to follow the apparent increase in wafer prices this week in order to transfer the cost pressure in the foreseeable future.

Multi-Si cells stood firmly in prices this week. The significant degree of inflation in upstream multi-Si products during the previous stage had actuated the prices of multi-Si cells, and low-price resources are now exceedingly scarce, though the downstream sector is restricted pertaining to the acceptance of multi-Si prices by adhering to a wait-and-see attitude. Domestic and overseas multi-Si cell prices are now at RMB 0.82/W and US$0.112/W respectively.


Module quotations remained largely stable this week. Despite obvious inflation tendency in recent polysilicon quotations, the increasing cost of each segment of the industry chain has resulted in insignificant adjustments in module prices. Several module makers have commented that the end sector is extremely unwilling to accept a price of more than RMB 1.8/W even with the apparent inflation from the upstream sector and the rising module cost.

An observation on the recent status of the Chinese market denotes that the list for the pilot run regions of the provincial-level implementation has concluded. The regions set for pilot runs will be centralized in coastal areas with prolonged photoperiod or excellent consumption conditions such as North China and southeast China, which is expected to initiate the development for the distributed market for the next three years. In terms of tenders, the demand for large-sized modules continues to release, followed by an increasingly ferocious competition among businesses, and the difference between partial leading projects is maintained at roughly RMB 0.01/W. On the other hand, the recent standardized process for 182 and 210 has essentially completed, which signals a large refinement in terms of the suitability of large-sized modules in end projects, and the price war may become the key for the competition of large-sized products in the subsequent market.

Glass quotations continued to ascend this week, with 2.0mm PV glass temporarily stabilized in prices. 3.2mm PV glass is currently at RMB 25-28/㎡, while 2.0mm PV glass is now roughly RMB 20-22/㎡. Low-price glass resources are now almost nonexistent in the market under the constant consumption of glass inventory and the continuously improving demand, though the actual volume of concluded transactions remains relatively low.

(Image:coniferconifer via Flickr CC BY 2.0)

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