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Bargaining between Polysilicon and Wafers Heat up amidst Sluggish Market Transactions

published: 2023-01-12 13:41


Polysilicon prices had further dropped this week, where mono-Si compound feedings and mono-Si dense materials were concluded at a respective mainstream price of RMB 140/kg and RMB 130/kg. As Chinese New Year approaches, wafer businesses are starting to manifest in demand towards polysilicon, followed by an apparent increase in order inquiries. Polysilicon is expected to somewhat increase in concluded volume next week. Polysilicon inventory continues to amplify due to the essentially full-load operations among polysilicon businesses, as well as the partial release of expanded capacity, while the standstill phase of wafer procurement has resulted in a persisting excess supply status for polysilicon, which gradually incandesces the level of bargaining. An increase in demand may steadily reduce polysilicon inventory, and prices are likely to stabilize after steady deceleration.

An observation on the production and operation of the polysilicon segment this week indicates that one out of 15 operating businesses is still under overhaul. The production schedule for each business in January shows that there will be a slight MoM increase of roughly 5% in domestic production of multi polysilicon, with major increment coming from the release of Lihao Semiconductor, Runergy, and GCL Baotou.


Wafer prices continued to drop this week, where M10 and G12 were respectively concluded at RMB 3.6/pc and RMB 4.8/pc. Downstream module segment’s optimistic anticipation towards installation demand after Chinese New Year that has led to a slight increase in operating rate from several makers has triggered wafer demand, and wafer inventory is likely to return to a normal level. Upstream polysilicon prices have yet to coincide with the anticipation of wafer businesses in terms of the degree of reduction, which generates an exceedingly confined level of profitability. Downstream cell businesses, having heard about the increase of prices from some wafer businesses, have yet to accept the corresponding increment, and have not concluded any transactions, where a number of businesses, due to continuous forfeiting of profitability under shipment pressure, have proposed relatively chaotic quotations. Overall operating rate of the market is currently sitting at roughly 50-70% as most businesses have started their Chinese New Year holiday. According to statistics, December saw about 27.5GW of domestic wafer production under a MoM drop of 23.8% primarily due to the depleted operating rate among first-tier businesses.


Cell prices had gradually stabilized this week, where M10 and G12 were concluded at a mainstream price of roughly RMB 0.8/W. The decelerated decrement of upstream wafer prices has slightly risen the production schedule of partial module makers, which provides a support for the stabilization of cell prices. Some businesses have commented on how the marginal increase of cell prices has yet to be accepted by module makers, and prices are primarily study for now. The cell market has essentially arrived at the end of conclusions this week, where all businesses have successively started their holiday, except a small number of businesses that are retaining a high operating rate due to the rush of delivery. Actual market demand may recover steadily after Chinese New Year as the cell market is pretty much out of available products right now.


Module prices were unable to stop in reduction this week, where mono-Si 166 modules were concluded at approximately RMB 1.75/W, while 182 and 210 mono-Si single-sided PERC modules were concluded at RMB 1.76/W, where 182 and 210 bifacial double-glass mono-Si PERC modules were concluded at RMB 1.78/W.

Power China has recently opened tenders for the centralized procurement of 26GW modules, where P-type modules are priced at roughly RMB 1.75/W in average tender price among top 6 makers. First-tier makers, having previously locked onto January’s orders, saw a relatively smaller degree of fluctuation in quotations, and partial second and third-tier businesses have been constantly dropping in shipment prices under a poor level of orders. A number of module makers are optimistic towards demand increment after Chinese New Year, though they are evident pertaining to a wait-and-see sentiment amidst the persistently sluggish end demand seen recently, and overall market transactions have been fewer. Mainstream operating rate of the module market was retained at 50-60% this week, and is expected to successively recover next month. N-type modules had a slight loosening in mainstream market quotations this week at RMB 1.78-1.9/W.

Regarding auxiliary materials, glass prices had stabilized this week, where 3.2mm and 2.0mm glasses were respectively priced at RMB 26.5/㎡ and roughly RMB 19.5/㎡. There were fewer actual conclusions of glasses this week. Despite postponement in ignition for a number of new production lines, the contribution from a small level of capacity has replenished inventory, and glass prices are currently sturdy as modules are mostly finalizing procurement based on actual needs, which led to  fewer orders compared to last month.


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