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Wafer Supply Remains Insufficient as Polysilicon Prices Continue to Loosen

published: 2023-03-16 17:06


Polysilicon prices continued to loosen this week, where mono-Si compound feedings and mono-Si dense materials were concluded at a respective mainstream price of RMB 220/kg and RMB 215/kg. Downstream wafers, due to the supply of auxiliary materials, have risen in demand for a safe polysilicon inventory, which led to successive signing of polysilicon orders this week, where the persisting price suppression and strengthened bargaining power from the crystal pulling end, together with polysilicon inventory that has yet to be completely consumed, had resulted in a continuous reduction of polysilicon prices this week. With March orders steadily coming to an end, polysilicon prices are not expected to see significant changes before the arrival of another centralized order signing period next month.

An observation on the production and operation of the polysilicon segment this week indicates that all 15 multi polysilicon businesses had maintained normal production, with merely one business currently under overhauls of sub-production lines that has slightly affected the level of output.


Wafer prices had somewhat fluctuated this week, where M10 had slightly risen to RMB 6.5/pc, and G12 was concluded at RMB 8.2/pc. Most businesses had followed up with the price increase implemented by leading wafer businesses last week, and some second and third-tier businesses saw a smaller increase under pressure from fewer orders. This has also amplified the cost pressure for the downstream sector. Cell businesses are gradually slowing down on the procurement of wafers amidst a growing wait-and-see sentiment within the market.

Overall wafer provision had ascended in March, however, the release of expanded cell capacity, as well as how quartz crucibles are imposing additional restrictions on overall wafer output, have not yet mitigated the relatively constricted supply of wafers on the whole. Wafer businesses are manifesting a significant divergence in capability of guaranteed supply and cost control, where first-tier businesses are stronger in the former quality, and some second and third-tier businesses could be confined in production. Wafer prices, benefitting from the price acceptance by downstream cell businesses, are likely to stabilize for the short term.


This week’s cell prices were leveled to that of last week, where M10 and G12 cells were concluded at a mainstream price of RMB 1.08/W. Due to the inflation of wafers, cell businesses are willing to increase their prices in order to transfer pressure of cost increment, though the supply of P-type cells that remains excessive is prompting a lower degree of acceptance among module makers, as well as a reduction in low-price cell resources. First-tier cell businesses are gradually centralizing on average concluded prices, while some second and third-tier businesses, who are relatively weaker in order acceptance, are forced to cut production in response as they are incapable of increasing their prices under the steady increase of cost. TOPCon cells are better at selling at market prices thanks to a larger demand and a more constrained provision. The robustness of cell prices is expected to persist under a stabilization in cost.


Module prices continued to stabilize this week, where 182 & 210 mono-Si single-sided PERC modules were concluded at a mainstream price of RMB 1.75/W, while 182 & 210 bifacial double-glass PERC modules were concluded at a mainstream price of RMB 1.77/W.

Huaneng Guizhou has recently activated a 1GW module tender, and is expected to commence shipment between July 1st and October 31st 2023, with the maximum tender price no more than RMB 1.55/W, which indicates how the domestic end market firmly believes the reduction of module prices by its apparent price suppression. Despite strong intention in raising module prices, the end sector is not all that willing in accepting the particular development. There has been a steady increase in domestic tenders on centralized module procurement, where the impact of policies is likely to ramp up export demand to India and the US, while the steady recover of demand from the European market is also expected to contribute to a recuperation of domestic and overseas demand. However, orders have yet to elevate evidently as of now, with fewer new orders being signed this week. Prices are expected to remain sturdy on the whole.

N-type modules had slightly risen in prices this week due to the increase of N-type cell prices, where 182 & 210 were quoted at a respective mainstream price of 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/㎡. Several glass businesses are slightly dropping in inventory under steady shipment. For the supply end, operating capacity remains relatively high from the replenishment of new capacity, despite cooling in partial production lines recently.

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