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Wafer prices Declining is Inevitable; Cells and Modules End are under pressure and Their Profits will be Lower

published: 2023-10-12 17:22

Polysilicon prices have remained stable throughout the week. The mainstream concluded price for mono recharge polysilicon is RMB 83/KG, while mono dense polysilicon is priced at RMB 81/KG and N-type polysilicon is currently priced at RMB 93/KG.
On the supply side, some of the production capacity that was impacted by the accident has been restored, and the growth rate of new capacity has accelerated. As a result, this month’s actual output has seen a significant increase, marking the first time the growth rate has hit double digits. This has led to a substantial shift in the supply and demand dynamics of polysilicon. On the demand side, specialized crystal pulling manufacturers have reduced their activation rates, exerting pressure on upstream polysilicon manufacturers. These crystal pulling manufacturers are currently focusing on depleting their accumulated polysilicon inventory. Consequently, the forecast of a decline in polysilicon prices in the upstream segment is on the verge of becoming a reality, and crystal pulling manufacturers, in general, are delaying their procurement demands. Furthermore, the marginal increase in polysilicon is expected by the end of this month, while crystal pulling manufacturers still have sufficient inventory to consume throughout the month. Meanwhile, the market prices of downstream cells and modules continue to remain below their production costs, and the negative signs of declining polysilicon prices are increasingly apparent. This week, the turnover of polysilicon has been slow, with prices holding steady. However, certain events, such as some second-tier polysilicon enterprises reducing their prices for N-type polysilicon, indicate that a downward trend in polysilicon prices is looming.
The prices of wafer have still reduced throughout the week. The mainstream concluded price for M10 wafer is RMB 2.78/Pc, while G12 wafer is priced at RMB 3.80/Pc.
On the supply side, currently, the inventory of wafer enterprises stands in the range of 2.4-2.6 billion pieces. Their production schedules and inventory for this month significantly surpass downstream demand. Consequently, wafer manufacturers face immense pressure to deplete their inventory. Specialized wafer manufacturers are clearly indicating their intention to reduce production, with some of them having already commenced this step to manage their inventory. On the demand side, there hasn’t been a notable increase in cell procurement demand. Nevertheless, owing to diminishing profits and mounting inventory pressure, some professional cell manufacturers are contemplating reducing their production. This week, wafer prices have uniformly dropped, maintaining a price gap of approximately 0.1 yuan per watt between leading and smaller manufacturers. With dwindling downstream purchasing demand and limited cost support from the upstream segment, it’s anticipated that wafer prices will persistently decline, making it challenging to arrest this downward trend.
Cell prices have still declined slightly this week. The mainstream concluded price for M10 cell is RMB 0.60/W, while G12 cell is priced at RMB 0.66/W. The price of M10 mono TOPCon cell is RMB 0.65/W.

On the supply side, cell manufacturers did not plan to reduce their production before the long weekend, leading to an increase in overall inventory. Currently, cell market prices are hovering close to production costs. Some specialized cell manufacturers are now contemplating reducing production and focusing on depleting their existing inventory. On the demand side, the operational rates of specialized module manufacturers have not improved, and cell prices have not reached their lowest point. Downstream consumers have adopted a bearish stance, and their purchasing strategies involve buying products with increasing prices rather than those with declining prices. Consequently, they are postponing their purchasing demands. Assessing specific cell models, the inventory of P-type modules in the downstream segment is high, and the demand for domestic centralized projects remains stagnant. As a result, there is insufficient momentum for module manufacturers to improve their production scheduling, and the demand for P-type cells is weak. When it comes to N-type cells, there is a substantial difference in demand between high-efficiency and low-efficiency cells. The supply of low to medium efficiency cells has increased significantly, but the market’s receptiveness to them is low. Consequently, their inventory is growing, whereas the demand for high-efficiency N-type cells remains positive. However, in the latter half of the year, most orders are for P-type cells, which creates increased shipment pressure even for high-efficiency N-type cells.
This week, cell prices have been erratic, but overall, they are declining. There is currently no support from the cost side, and with weak customer demand, there is still room for further reductions in cell prices.
Module prices have declined slightly throughout the week. The mainstream concluded price for 182mm facial mono PERC module is RMB 1.20/W, 210mm facial mono PERC module is priced at RMB 1.21/W, 182mm bifacial glass PERC module at RMB 1.21/W, and 210mm bifacial glass PERC module at RMB 1.22/W.

On the supply side, the shipment volumes of module manufacturers have exhibited significant divergence. The market price for modules has dropped even below the production costs for specialized module manufacturers, prompting them to drastically reduce their production. Despite weak current demand, top-tier leading manufacturers are maintaining high operational rates and are even undercutting prices to secure more orders, squeezing the market share of smaller manufacturers. On the demand side, overseas inventory levels are elevated, and as module prices continue to decrease, customers are closely monitoring market dynamics. Furthermore, there are rumors that the European Union may impose trade barriers to support local photovoltaic manufacturers. This has instilled panic among module manufacturers, who are likely to reduce module prices to clear their inventory. Stimulated by the commencement of ground projects, domestic demand for modules has improved. However, industry chain prices are still on a downward trajectory, and domestic customers are increasingly concerned about further price declines. Given that current module inventory can still meet short-term delivery demands, the demand for modules from domestic manufacturers is not expected to surge in the short run. This week, module prices declined, with G12 P-type modules dropping by 1.63% and M10 P-type cells falling by 0.83%. However, the downward trend persists, and there is still room for further price declines.

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