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Inevitable Polysilicon Price Decline, and Wafer and Cell Prices are Still Decreasing Amid Inventory Pressure.

published: 2023-10-19 17:41

Polysilicon prices have started to decline throughout the week, with sluggish turnover. The mainstream concluded price for mono recharge polysilicon is RMB 80/KG, while mono dense polysilicon is priced at RMB 78/KG and N-type polysilicon is currently priced at RMB 92/KG.

This week, polysilicon manufacturers primarily focused on fulfilling existing orders, with minimal interest in signing new agreements with major manufacturers due to the current pricing landscape. On the supply side, production disruptions caused by maintenance are gradually being resolved, and the new production capacity will come online in the latter half of this month. As a result, there will be a significant increase in polysilicon supply. Additionally, with crystal pulling manufacturers reducing their operational rates, polysilicon inventories are growing conspicuously, placing greater pressure on polysilicon manufacturers to adjust their pricing and relinquish more of their profits.

On the demand side, the accumulated inventory of wafers remains stagnant, with the current count reaching 2.6-2.8 billion pieces. Crystal pulling manufacturers have scaled back their demand for polysilicon, while the supply of polysilicon continues to rise each month. Given the surplus in crystal pulling inventory and reduced demand from manufacturers, it's inevitable that polysilicon prices will experience a decline. Following the completion of high-priced polysilicon orders, the pricing for new polysilicon orders is expected to regress.

The prices of wafer have still reduced throughout the week. The mainstream concluded price for M10 wafer is RMB 2.70/Pc, while G12 wafer is priced at RMB 3.60/Pc.

On the supply side, as wafer inventory issues worsen, crystal pulling manufacturers have already scaled back their operations to varying degrees. Specifically, some second-tier wafer manufacturers are continuing to reduce their operation rates due to cost and inventory challenges. It has been observed that certain specialized manufacturers are operating at rates 10-15 percentage points lower than originally planned at the beginning of the month. On the demand side, the operational patterns among cell manufacturers exhibit significant disparities. Integrated cell manufacturers are maintaining high production rates, while some specialized wafer manufacturers are implementing production cutbacks due to the decreasing wafer prices. With mounting inventory, weak demand, and declining prices for upstream products, it is anticipated that wafer prices will further decrease.

Cell prices have still declined this week. The mainstream concluded price for M10 cell is RMB 0.57/W, while G12 cell is priced at RMB 0.59/W. The price of M10 mono TOPCon cell is RMB 0.60/W.

On the supply side, the operation rate of cell manufacturers remains consistently high, but there are no indications of it increasing further. While the production capacity for N-type cells continues to grow, its output is also on an upward trajectory. However, the production capacity for N-type cells is still in the testing phase. The efficiency gap between most N-type cells and P-type cells hasn’t significantly widened, resulting in limited demand for low-efficiency N-type cells in the market. Currently, there is still inventory pressure on both N-type and P-type cells. In the latter half of this month, cell manufacturers are planning to scale back production. On the demand side, most of the orders are concentrated among the leading module manufacturers, which supports their production schedules adequately. However, second-tier specialized manufacturers have implemented varying degrees of reduced operation rates, leading to reduced demand for cell purchases. Currently, the prices of upstream materials have declined, consequently lowering cell production costs, bringing module prices close to the cost threshold. Given the lack of improvement in customer demand, it's inevitable that cell manufacturers will need to reduce prices and sacrifice some of their profits.

Module prices have maintained stable 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 prices of upstream materials are still in a phase of recovery and remain quite volatile. Module manufacturers are cautious about raising their operation rates to avoid the risk of price reductions. Currently, their primary focus is on depleting the accumulated cell inventory to fulfill recent delivery orders. It's apparent from production schedules that the bulk of these orders are held by leading manufacturers, resulting in a significant disparity in operation rates between first-tier and second-tier manufacturers. The situation for the latter, particularly in terms of startup rates, has shown no signs of improvement.

On the demand side, overseas customers are taking time to deplete their inventories, leading to sluggish current demand in the market. On the domestic front, there has been a slight improvement in installed demand, but customers remain wary of the declining prices in the industry. As a result, their procurement processes may be disrupted. Currently, there are no signs of improvement in module demand, and some manufacturers may consider reducing their prices in an effort to stimulate customer interest. In bidding projects led by China Huadian Group, the quoted prices offered by certain manufacturers have dropped to 0.993 yuan per watt, falling below the 1 yuan per watt. This suggests that module manufacturers will continue to compete with lower prices to secure more orders.

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