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Cell Sector Sustains Apparent Pressure amidst Incessant Inflation from Polysilicon and Wafers

published: 2022-02-24 17:19


The inflation of polysilicon had carried on this week under a further subsidence in the extent. Overall quotations of mono polysilicon sat at about RMB 243/kg this week. With the end of February approaching, a number of polysilicon businesses have begun negotiating for March orders, and the production volume for March is expected to be affected by overhaul in production lines and worse-than-expected release of expanded capacity, where the addition of robust end demand will indirectly prompt for an increase of operating rate from the wafer end and elevate polysilicon demand. As the void between supply and market persists, long-term and sporadic orders have risen in various degrees.

An observation on the production, operation, and shipment of the polysilicon sector indicates that the overhaul for sub-production lines at one out of the 13 operating businesses has yet to complete, while another overseas polysilicon businesses is also currently executing its sub-production line overhaul. Polysilicon supply has somewhat reduced as a result. Long-term orders for March are expected to be fully signed within the next two weeks, and polysilicon prices are going to sit at a high price level throughout the entire month.


Wafer prices had slightly risen this week, with the largest degree of increment seen from M10. Longi has recently announced its latest round of quotations. Compared to the previous round, wafers of various sizes have risen by RMB 0.3-0.35/pc under an increase of 5.7-6.1%, and most wafer businesses are following closely behind Longi’s quotations. M6 has climbed to roughly RMB 5.35/pc in mainstream concluded price, while M10 has grown by 2.38% to approximately RMB 6.45/pc, and G12 has now ascended to about RMB 8.5/pc. Downstream cell businesses have upward adjusted their operating rate in the midst of booming end demand, which ramps up wafer demand, and the output of wafers is now restricted after insufficient supply of polysilicon and the increase of operating rate, with a provision that is now leaning towards the constrained end. First-tier businesses have elevated their operating rate to roughly 75%, while integrated businesses are also maintaining at 80-100%. Utilization is expected to further increase if end demand persists.


Cell prices remained sturdy on the whole this week with continuous bargaining. M6, M10, and G12 cells were concluded at a respective mainstream price this week at roughly RMB 1.09/W, RMB 1.12/W, and RMB 1.13/W. With cell orders being supported by end demand, a partial number of cell business have been attempting to adjust their quotations, though module makers are not accepting the inflated prices due to their accumulation of inventory from the stocking prior to Chinese New Year. Module quotations have been stabilized recently, thus there is not much room for increment in cell quotations. In addition, the constantly surging upstream wafer prices are also impeding cell businesses from improving their profitability.


Module prices remained stable on the weaker end this week, where mono-Si 166mm, 182mm, and 210mm modules were concluded at a respective mainstream price of roughly RMB 1.85/W, RMB 1.88/W, and RMB 1.88/W. China Huadian opened tenders for its 2022 procurement of PV modules and inverter frames on February 21st, which saw a highest price of RMB 1.9077/W and a lowest price of RMB 1.8123/W, as well as an average quotation of RMB 1.8606/W. The overseas installation rush and stocking period is now at its end. Domestic large base projects are propelling continuously, where multiple businesses have started procurement tenders, which provides momentum to the unimpeded development on the demand end. Due to inflation from the industry chain and auxiliary materials, a partial number of module houses are trying to increase their prices, which has been met with an insignificant increment of concluded transactions. A number of businesses are concerned that the demand would lower after the inflation, and that decelerated procurement that follows would once again sink the market into a bargaining status.

Regarding auxiliary materials, glass prices were essentially stabilized this week, where most glass businesses had executed orders from the previous period. 3.2mm and 2.0mm glasses were respectively concluded at a mainstream price of roughly RMB 27/㎡ and RMB 21/㎡ this week. Due to the price surge of raw materials, PV glasses are now inhibited in profitability, and a number of businesses are postponing the ignition for their constructed kilns in order to further observe market dynamics.

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

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