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Demand Lacks Momentum as New Year Approaches; Pressure from High Inventory to Prevent Changes from Price Decrement in Each Segment

published: 2023-01-05 18:00


Polysilicon prices continued to drop this week, where mono-Si compound feedings and mono-Si dense materials were concluded at a respective mainstream price of RMB 175/kg and RMB 173/kg under an overall reduction of roughly 11.5%. In the midst of sluggish demand, this week saw fewer actual orders being signed, and downstream wafer businesses had been lethargic in procurement, while the continuous release of expanded polysilicon capacity has aggravated the level of polysilicon inventory, where a number of businesses, in order to seize orders with lower prices, are resulting in concluded market prices going as low as RMB 150/kg. Polysilicon provision may drop as the Chinese New Year holiday approaches, though prices are still likely to remain on the declining slope within the short term owing to how the bargaining between upstream and downstream sectors has exacerbated with the severing of downstream prices, as well as the pressure coming from polysilicon inventory.

An observation on the production and operation of the polysilicon segment this week indicates that one of the two businesses that initiated overhaul in December has now gradually resumed normal operation, and the other one is expected to conclude its overhaul in mid-January. According to statistics, domestic polysilicon production sat at about 96.7K tons in December under a MoM increase of 7.4%, and approximately 811K tons throughout the entire 2022 under a YoY growth of 65.5%.


Wafer prices had dropped sizably this week, where M10 and G12 were respectively concluded at RMB 3.8/pc and RMB 5/pc under a plummet of 45% compared to that of early December. Wafer prices, after leading wafer businesses had successively announced their latest list prices last week, continued to drop this week. The wafer market is currently focused on eliminating its inventory, which is likely to somewhat improve during January due to the Chinese New Year holiday. Recent transactions of the wafer market have been rather low, and are mostly seen from a small portion of sporadic orders that are concluded at truncated prices, followed by relatively chaotic quotations. Wafer prices have now dropped to a low interval, and may steadily decelerate with limited space for subsequent decrement. Industry chain prices may progressively stabilize starting from the wafer segment.


Cell prices had yet to suspend in reduction this week, where M10 and G12 cells were concluded at about RMB 0.8/W under a WoW drop of 20%. Cell prices, due to the impeded downstream demand recently, as well as the constantly rising inventory of the cell market, and the significant drop of upstream wafer prices, have followed up with corresponding adjustments, and are unavoidable from descension. As the Chinese New Year approaches, a number of businesses have disclosed on their early start of the holiday, and would lower their operating rate in order to achieve inventory reduction and stimulate demand for downstream procurement. The drop of cell prices is not as aggressive as that of upstream polysilicon and wafer segments, and is expected to slow down alongside the steady stabilization of upstream prices.


Module prices continued to drop this week, where mono-Si 166 modules were concluded at a mainstream price of roughly RMB 1.8/W, while mono-Si single-sided 182 PERC modules and mono-Si bifacial double-glass 182 PERC modules were concluded at RMB 1.81/W, while mono-Si single-sided 210 PERC modules and mono-Si bifacial double-glass 210 PERC modules were concluded at RMB 1.82/W.

End projects are essentially at the conclusion phase as the end of the year draws near, and are gradually shrinking in procurement demand towards modules, which led to a smaller level of overall module conclusions this week. Module makers, under the considerable depletion of upstream cell prices, are unable to withstand the extent of pressure, and are now starting to loosen in prices. With that being said, the module segment is likely to effectively repair its profitability as the current drop of module prices remains far below that of various segments. Module prices are still going to decline under sluggish demand. N-type modules, having slightly loosened this week, have arrived at a mainstream quotation of RMB 1.9-2/W.

In terms of auxiliary materials, glass quotations had slightly dropped this week, where 3.2mm and 2.0mm glasses were respectively priced at RMB 26.5/㎡ and roughly RMB 19.5/㎡. Demand for glass has been constricted due to how the slow actuation of recent domestic installations and reduction of overseas orders have led to a drop in module operation, while the release of new glass capacity has aggravated the degree of inventory. Glass businesses are now relatively more aggressive in shipment, followed by a marginal decrement in prices.

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