Polysilicon prices maintained a minor inflation trend this week, where mono-Si compound feedings and mono-Si dense materials were respectively concluded at RMB 308/kg and RMB 305/kg. Most businesses had signed for their long-term orders this week, which leaves an insignificant amount of available polysilicon on the market, and the continuously rising quotations among partial sporadic orders are slightly bumping up the mainstream concluded prices of polysilicon. The downstream sector is now more accepting towards the risen list prices announced by leading downstream wafer businesses, which provides support for a further increase of polysilicon prices.
An observation on the production and operation of the polysilicon segment this week indicates that two businesses are still under overhaul, and are expected to resume normal production between September and October. The increase of domestic multi polysilicon supply in September will somewhat mitigate the current scarcity, though there remains a small void compared to the level of demand among downstream wafer businesses, where the overall supply and demand of the polysilicon segment that will not see any changes within the short term will secure polysilicon prices at a high level.
Wafer prices remained unchanged this week, where M10 and G12 were respectively concluded at a mainstream price of RMB 7.53/pc and RMB 9.93/pc. Zhonghuan announced its latest list prices for wafers this week, and wafers of various sizes had seen an increase of RMB 0.12-0.24/pc, which has been followed by other businesses. Wafer provision now remains at a tight balance owing to the earthquake-affected output, as well as the resumption of leading downstream cell businesses upon the conclusion of power restrictions, and the stocking demand for the National Day, where the obstinately high polysilicon prices that are not expected to drop any time soon may further trigger a small increment in wafer prices. Leading wafer businesses are currently sitting on an operating rate of roughly 70-75%, whereas integrated and specialized wafer businesses are maintained at approximately 70-80% under a small MoM increase.
This week’s cell prices were leveled to that of last week, where mono-Si M6 cells were still being concluded at a mainstream price of roughly RMB 1.27/W, while M10 and G12 cells had risen to about RMB 1.31/W and RMB 1.29/W respectively. Orders were successively finalized this week after the increase of cell prices last week, and the downstream sector is gradually accepting the risen prices. A number of businesses commented on having signed for most September orders under persisting order popularity. Module makers are attempting to bring down the prices during negotiation, though cell prices are relatively robust right now due to the constrained level of supply, and may remain at a high degree. The cell segment will continue to operate on a high utilization during September.
Module prices continued to stabilize this week, where mono-Si 166mm modules were concluded at a mainstream price of roughly RMB 1.91/W, while mono-Si single-sided 182 & 210mm modules were concluded at approximately RMB 1.97/W, while bifacial double-glass mono-Si PERC modules were concluded at RMB 1.99/W.
The incessant inflation of upstream polysilicon and cell prices as recently seen from the industry chain has further amplified the cost pressure of the module segment, where all module makers are experiencing a restricted level of profitability, aside from several integrated makers who are comparatively better at cost control. A number of module makers are still attempting to increase their quotations by RMB 0.02/W, with large-sized modules essentially arriving at more than RMB 2/W in quotations, though the volume of transactions has been on the lower end as the market requires a longer time to digest the corresponding high quotations. In terms of demand, domestic large ground power stations are likely to expedite in construction, while Europe’s suspended supply of natural gas and the concluded rainy reason in Brazil and Australia are likely to yield a fast increase in installation demand. The module segment has now ascended to roughly 80% in overall operating rate. N-type modules had stabilized in mainstream market quotations at RMB 2.16-2.2/W this week.
In terms of auxiliary materials, glass prices had further depleted this week, where 3.2 and 2.0mm glasses were sitting on a respective mainstream price of RMB 26.5/㎡ and roughly RMB 20/㎡. Although the increase of module utilization has generated an increase in demand, the magnified cost pressure in modules has added pressure to the negotiation with the auxiliary material end, and a number of businesses, in order to facilitate shipment amidst the continuously rising glass inventory, are willing to compromise on prices for quantity, which would carry on in bringing down glass prices.