Polysilicon prices had carried on with increment after Chinese New Year, where mono-Si compound feedings and mono-Si dense materials were concluded at a respective mainstream price of RMB 215/kg and RMB 195/kg. Market popularity was seen higher after Chinese New Year thanks to the support from demand, and wafer businesses’ significant increase in operating rate has led to a growth in demand for polysilicon. A number of polysilicon businesses were reluctant in sales in the middle of Chinese New Year, while the depleted inventory of raw materials among wafer businesses during the long holiday that has amplified subsequent procurement demand had provided a support for the risen polysilicon prices this week. Polysilicon prices are expected to climb steadily within the short term thanks to the support generated from the downstream sector’s purchase demand.
An observation on the production and operation of the polysilicon segment this week indicates that all 15 multi polysilicon businesses had maintained normal production. According to statistics, the domestic production of multi polysilicon had arrived at approximately 101.4K tons during January under a MoM growth of 4.9%, and the increase had primarily come from the new released capacity of Baotou Xin Yuan and Runergy, as well as the post-overhaul production from Lihao Semiconductor. Polysilicon businesses, including GCL Tech (Leshan + Baotou), East Hope, Lihao Semiconductor, and Runergy, are expected to increase in capacity release during Q1, though at a smaller MoM increase.
Wafer prices continued to climb after Chinese New Year, where M10 and G12 were respectively concluded at RMB 4.8/pc and RMB 6.2/pc. Wafer prices have followed up with the inflation of polysilicon to transfer the pressure of cost, and the excellent reduction of wafer inventory under an improved demand has elevated cell purchases. A recovery of operating rate is seen after the holiday, with production segments such as wafer slices and rod pulling experiencing a marginal improvement in quality. The overall operating rate is currently at roughly 65-75%.
Cell prices had slightly recovered after Chinese New Year, where M10 and G12 cells were respectively concluded at RMB 0.97/W and RMB 1/W. The inflation of upstream polysilicon and wafer prices has steadily amplified the cost pressure of cells. With end demand manifesting amidst an apparent recovery in market popularity after the holiday, the current supply of cells is somewhat restricted in accordance with the production schedules of modules for February, and mainstream first-tier cell businesses are well supported by orders at nearly a full-load production during the Chinese New Year holiday, where several second and third-tier cell businesses have successively initiated normal operation. Cell prices, in the midst of rising upstream costs, are still likely to increase in the succeeding period.
Module prices had slightly risen after Chinese New Year, where 166 mono-Si modules were concluded at about RMB 1.75/W, while 182 and 210 mono-Si single-sided PERC modules sat on RMB 1.77/W, whereas 182 and 210 bifacial double-glass mono-Si PERC modules were concluded at RMB 1.79/W.
End projects, especially with centralized projects, have been kicking off one after another recently under a sizable recovery in demand. The module market sat on an overall low volume of transactions during the Chinese New Year holiday, and the negotiations of order quotations for February that had started after the holiday have led to an increase of prices for various upstream segments, with modules upward adjusting in prices due to the pressure of cost. However, the increment remains far below that of the upstream sector primarily owing to the smaller reduction of modules over the previous period that had retained a larger degree of profitability for the particular segment, which explains the relatively slower price increase. Module prices are expected to follow with the further inflation of upstream prices. N-type modules were essentially leveled in mainstream market quotations this week at RMB 1.78-1.9/W.
In terms of auxiliary materials, glass prices continued to stabilize after Chinese New Year, where 3.2mm and 2.0mm glasses were priced at RMB 26.5/㎡ and roughly RMB 19.5/㎡. Module purchases and orders are gradually recovering after the holiday, and the level of transactions is expected to steadily increase accordingly, with persisting room in discounts for large concluded orders.