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Slow Reduction in Polysilicon Prices; Crucible Shortages May Result in Continuous Inflation for Wafers

published: 2023-03-09 17:16


Polysilicon prices continued to drop at a small margin this week, where mono-Si compound feedings and mono-Si dense materials were concluded at a respective mainstream price of RMB 235/kg and RMB 220/kg. As the new round of order signing arrived earlier this month, the overall operating rate of the wafer segment has been somewhat confined due to the shortages of crucibles, and has yet to reflect actual downstream demand on polysilicon procurement, where the apparent mentality on price suppression has prompted a number of polysilicon businesses to ramp up in shipment by compromising on prices in order to mitigate their inventory pressure. First-tier polysilicon businesses have been relatively smooth in order signing, while some second and third-tier polysilicon businesses are exhibiting slight vulnerability during negotiation as seen from their large degree of compromises. On the other hand, polysilicon prices have not yet manifest a large reduction thanks to the stabilization of wafer prices, and would linger at a slow decrement due to inventory pressure.


Mainstream concluded prices for wafers were largely stable this week, though there had been an increase in high-level concluded prices. M10 and G12 were respectively concluded at RMB 6.22/pc and RMB 8.2/pc. The two leading wafer businesses announced their latest list prices this week, where LONGi had risen its M6 and M10 quotations by as much as 4%, while Zhonghuan is leveled in its latest quotations to that of last month. In the midst of the unresolved shortages in quartz crucibles, most first-tier businesses are able to continue with normal production under a stronger assurance of provision by having previously signed supply agreements with high-purity quartz sand businesses, however, some second and third-tier businesses are constricted in production due to the shortages of crucibles, and have thus elevated the level of wafer resources from first-tier businesses on the market. As a result, first-tier businesses have somewhat expanded in market shares amidst steady magnification in bargaining power. Wafer prices are likely to increase when the void of supply and demand further widens as quartz crucibles are unlikely to see any improvement from shortages within the short term.


This week’s cell prices were leveled to that of last week, where M10 and G12 were concluded at a mainstream price of RMB 1.08/W. The cell segment, due to the impact from wafer prices, has exacerbated in cost pressure, and is now exceeding confined in capability of price reduction despite partial inventory pressure, where the intention of price increment among some businesses when negotiating for new orders was not accepted by module makers, which led to a bargaining stage for the two segments. Cell prices were mostly stabilized this week. Cell businesses are currently retaining a high level of utilization, though their operating rate could be downward adjusted subsequently under wafer shortages.


Module prices continued to stabilize this week, where 182 & 210 mono-Si single-sided PERC modules were concluded at RMB 1.75/W, while 182 & 210 bifacial double-glass mono-Si PERC modules were concluded at RMB 1.77/W. It is temporarily impossible for module prices to drop due to cost pressure amidst the robustness of cell prices. Some first-tier module makers are equipped with a certain degree of bargaining power thanks to support from orders, and had seen average concluded prices largely leveled to that of last week, while other second and third-tier makers had somewhat loosened in quotations for the purpose of finalizing orders. With the steady initiation of domestic end projects and the persisting demand for exports, module shipment is likely to welcome a more apparent growth in March.

N-type modules had slightly risen in mainstream market quotations this week, where 182 and 210 were respectively priced at RMB 1.78-1.9/W and RMB 1.97-2.12/W.

In terms of auxiliary materials, glass prices were stabilized this week, where 3.2mm and 2.0mm glasses were respectively priced at RMB 25.5/㎡ and roughly RMB 18.5/㎡. Despite slight delays in release of expanded capacity, the existing capacity of PV glasses that remains relatively high is contributing to a slow and continuous increase of inventory, which is weakening the level of bargaining power for PV glass businesses. This week saw no changes to the prices of PV glasses.

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