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High Planned Production Amid Sluggish Transactions in Polysilicon Sector; Wafer Manufacturers Opt for Price and Production Reductions to Stimulate Shipments

published: 2024-03-28 17:30


Polysilicon prices have maintained stable throughout the week. The mainstream concluded price for mono recharge polysilicon is RMB 58/KG, while mono dense polysilicon is priced at RMB 56/KG and N-type polysilicon is currently priced at RMB 68/KG.

Based on trading activities, transactions of P-type and N-type polysilicon are stagnant, prompting ingot manufacturers to consider reducing their production due to losses and high inventory. Consequently, demand for polysilicon among ingot manufacturers has reached its lowest point. Despite some maintenance by manufacturers in March and April, polysilicon production remains high, with additional capacity scheduled to come online in the second quarter. This surplus in supply will likely increase pressure on polysilicon enterprises and lead to further price reductions.

On the demand side, ingot manufacturers have ceased purchasing polysilicon to drive prices down. As a result, the wafer sector is experiencing significant losses, evident when analyzing sector profits. Therefore, for the wafer sector to break even, it's imperative for N-type polysilicon prices to decrease. However, even with the considerable wafer inventory held by ingot manufacturers at 3 billion pieces, they continue to abstain from purchasing polysilicon to pressure manufacturers into lowering prices. This week, polysilicon transactions are moving at a sluggish pace, with prices holding steady. Despite efforts by some polysilicon manufacturers to lower prices, downstream buyers are showing little enthusiasm for these adjustments. As a result, it’s anticipated that polysilicon prices will continue to slide in the foreseeable future.


The prices of wafer have declined throughout the week. The mainstream concluded price for M10 P-type wafer is RMB 1.75/Pc, while G12 P-type wafer is priced at RMB 2.45/Pc. The mainstream concluded price for M10 N-type wafer is RMB 1.75/Pc and G12 N-type is priced at RMB 2.45/Pc.

When it comes to the supply side, wafer manufacturers are focusing on scaling back their production and depleting their inventory. The current inventory of wafers stands at approximately 3.2 to 3.6 billion pieces, with nearly 75% of them being N-type wafers, predominantly in diameters of 256mm and 247mm. Demand for wafers with a 247mm diameter is bleak, with future projections indicating a decline. Consequently, more manufacturers are slashing prices to stimulate higher shipments, with some even dropping prices below 1.7 yuan per piece. The inventory situation is relatively better for wafers with a 256mm diameter, priced between 1.6 to 1.7 yuan per piece. With many wafer manufacturers reducing prices to boost shipments, downstream cell manufacturers are showing greater willingness to replenish their inventory.

On the demand front, planned production in the cell sector is still in recovery mode, leading to stable demand from cell manufacturers for purchasing wafers. This steady demand helps in reducing the wafer inventory. However, their demand isn't sufficient to absorb the entirety of the actual wafer supply. Consequently, wafer prices have declined this week, with prices of both N-type and P-type wafers falling below their production costs. At current prices, wafer manufacturers are experiencing significant losses. Looking ahead, further declines in wafer prices are anticipated, although support for prices may emerge in the third quarter as downstream demand for N-type products increases and wafer inventory returns to normal levels.


Cell prices have dropped this week. The mainstream concluded price for M10 cell is RMB 0.360/W, while G12 cell is priced at RMB 0.370/W. The price of M10 mono TOPCon cell is RMB 0.47/W, while that of G12 mono TOPCon cell is RMB 0.48/W.

Regarding the supply side, the planned production in the cell sector continues its rebound throughout April, maintaining stability. The profitability of cell manufacturers has swiftly recovered following a significant drop in wafer prices. With the introduction of LECO technologies, we've observed a notable increase in conversion efficiency for certain cell manufacturers, ranging from 0.2% to 0.3%. When combined with current selling prices, it's evident that the gross margin rate for cells has already risen to the low double digits. Furthermore, post the third quarter of 2024, there will be a significant shift in the proportion of rectangular cell sizes, largely driven by downstream planned production, with M10RN and G12RN accounting for a higher share.

On the demand side, following the substantial decline in wafer prices, module manufacturers are positioning themselves to pressure cell manufacturers into reducing prices. Indeed, some cell manufacturers have already made price cuts to sacrifice profits. In April, the planned production in the module sector is expected to continue its upward trend, bolstering demand for cells. This week, prices of both P-type and N-type cells have decreased, with mainstream concluded prices for M10N cells ranging between 0.45 and 0.47 yuan per watt, while G12N cells are priced between 0.47 and 0.49 yuan per watt. Looking ahead, it is anticipated that wafer prices will likely continue to decline, with the module sector displaying strong willingness to push them down further. As for the cell sector, there remains room for cell prices to decrease while still maintaining reasonable profits.


Module prices have remained stable throughout the week. The mainstream concluded price for 182mm facial mono PERC module is RMB 0.93/W, 210mm facial mono PERC module is priced at RMB 0.95/W, 182mm bifacial glass PERC module at RMB 0.94/W, and 210mm bifacial glass PERC module at RMB 0.97/W.

When it comes to the supply side, the planned production of modules in April is set to see further growth, with anticipated levels ranging from 57GW to 62GW. The month-on-month growth rate is expected to hit between 10% and 13%. As upstream segments relinquish more profits, profitability in the module sector is poised for recovery. Additionally, bidding prices are holding steady, and the intense competition characterized by price reductions will ease as the module sector witnesses phase-outs, with manufacturers continuing to deplete their inventory.

On the demand side, data on installations and exports in January and February indicate a recovery in downstream demand. Domestic installations are on the rise, while export volumes to non-Europe and non-US markets are positive, particularly in countries adjusting their tariffs, which greatly contribute to installations. Installations in the Middle East and African countries are experiencing stable growth. In Europe and the US markets, Europe is depleting its inventory, and installations are expected to rebound with the approaching peak season.

In summary, module prices have remained stable this week. Looking ahead, with significant declines in upstream sector prices, customers are unlikely to accept significant increases in module prices. Therefore, module prices are expected to stay stable.

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