PV Industry Price Trend: Upstream Polysilicon Inflation Remains Unabated amidst Apparent Pressure in the Module Sector

published: 2021-09-23 17:22 | editor: | category: Price Trend


The polysilicon market saw a relatively sluggish level of transactions this week, and overall prices remained temporarily stable. Most polysilicon businesses are still in the delivery phase this week, and have yet to adjust the mainstream quotations, where mono polysilicon is maintained at roughly RMB 215/kg in mainstream quotation, while multi polysilicon is now at US$105/kg. The sporadic orders of a number of second and third-tier polysilicon businesses have slightly risen to about RMB 220/kg under the inflation of wafer quotations. As the end of the month approaches, most first-tier businesses are on the verge of announcing their list prices for October, and a further extent of inflation is expected to be seen in market prices.

An observation on the production, operation, and shipment status of the domestic polysilicon sector indicates that among the 12 operating businesses, one business is implementing a routine overhaul for its equipment, while another has suspended operation until the end of the month due to power restrictions, with resumption on operation expected before mid-October. As reported, multiple regions of China have recently enhanced the simultaneous policy regarding energy consumption, of which the restricted production in Yunnan has stimulated a surge in industrial silicon prices, and the excess demand from the industrial silicon market will persist in the short run, which may confine purchases of raw materials for a partial number of polysilicon businesses. The impact of the policy and the climate on the production for major polysilicon production bases in areas such as Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, and Qinghai remains to be seen. On the whole, the domestic production of polysilicon in September has not yet conformed to the anticipation due to the overhaul of a partial number of businesses, while the simultaneous policy, coupled with the elevated prices of industrial silicon, are expected to provide a support for an increment of polysilicon prices from the existing high level.


The wafer market has been getting rid of low price resources this week, and the overall prices are maintained at a high level. One leading wafer business announced its latest quotation this week at a smaller degree of inflation, which is followed by a number of businesses, and the gradually diminishing low price resources have prompted G1 and M6 mono-Si wafers to sit firmly at RMB 5.15/pc and RMB 5.25/pc respectively, and G12 wafers to rise to RMB 6.41/pc. Multi-Si wafers are steadily reducing in shipment volume due to a marginal fallen degree of market transactions that is triggered by the constantly elevating prices, and have now arrived at RMB 2.35/pc and US$0.321/pc in domestic and overseas prices this week.

A sizable improvement has been seen in the operating rate of the majority of businesses owing to the rejuvenated downstream demand, and capacity utilization has now arrived at 75-100%. As the end of the month approaches, businesses are about to sign for subsequent market orders, where the confined production of partial businesses and elevated production cost due to insufficient supply of additional upstream polysilicon will aggravate the purchase cost of raw materials for the wafer market. The development of the subsequent market will depend on the pricing of leading businesses.


The cell market had experienced exacerbated pressure this week, followed by chaotic market quotations. The largest influential factor in cell prices recently lies on the upstream wafer quotations. Leading wafer businesses have been upward adjusting their wafer quotations for the past two weeks, which resulted in constantly rising cost for cells, as well as inhibited room for profit, thus creating an apparent bargaining with the wafer sector. A small number of cell businesses have accepted the latest wafer quotations due to the recovery of downstream demand, and have amplified on wafer procurement, as well as implemented corresponding adjustment in the latest cell quotations at an increase of RMB 0.02-0.03/W, though the overall concluded transactions remain insignificant. M6 cells are currently sitting at RMB 1.06/W, while large-sized M10 and G12 cells are now RMB 1.06/W and RMB 1.04/W respectively due to the elevated cost and invigorated downstream demand. With the end of the month around the corner, leading businesses are ready to reveal their quotations, and adjustments on cell prices will have to depend on the degree of acceptance from downstream module makers due to the restrictions imposed from the cost of auxiliary materials that may yield a worse-than-expected production schedule in October.


Module quotations remained predominantly stable this week, with minor fluctuations seen in the quotations of a partial number of businesses. Module cost has been constantly rising alongside the recent fluctuations in upstream wafer and cell prices, and several module makers are attempting to increase their quotations at roughly RMB 0.02/W, with sporadic orders concluded. First-tier module have yet to adjust their mainstream quotations despite successive inflation trends in EVA and glass for the past two weeks, where several module makers have commented that the downstream sector is exerting a low level of acceptance towards module inflation. The module sector is currently sustaining the largest degree of pressure.

Glass quotations continued to ascend this week. 3.2mm PV glass has risen to RMB 26-29/㎡, while 2.0mm PV glass is sitting at RMB 20-23/㎡. The recovery of end demand has generated a continuously increasing glass shipment, where a number of businesses are carrying on with the upward adjustments in the quotations for partial sporadic orders that can go up to RMB 30/㎡, though no transactions have been concluded thus far. The price bargaining between glass businesses and module buyers continues.

(Image:Deb Nystrom via Flickr CC BY 2.0)

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