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Industrial Chain Prices Stabilize at Low Levels and Some Producers Cease Operations and Clear Inventory

published: 2024-06-06 17:18

Polysilicon prices remain stable throughout the week. The mainstream concluded price for mono recharge polysilicon is RMB 34/KG, while mono dense polysilicon is priced at RMB 32/KG and N-type polysilicon is currently priced at RMB 38/KG.

This week’s trading activities for polysilicon remain sluggish, with volumes at their lowest levels. The primary transactions involve mixed polysilicon. However, as the downstream sector consumes its inventory, prices are expected to rebound. This month, production plans across the polysilicon industry have declined, with leading manufacturers phasing out old capacity and tier-2 manufacturers undergoing large-scale maintenance. Additionally, three small polysilicon manufacturers may shut down their operations. The sector is undergoing a significant clearing process.

In terms of supply and demand, despite a nearly 21% drop in production plans from last month, the total polysilicon capacity this month still reaches around 62-64GW, indicating an oversupply relative to downstream demand. Therefore, the reduction in production plans is not yet sufficient to drive a price rebound. Future reductions by leading manufacturers should be closely monitored. This week, polysilicon prices remain stable, hovering near their lowest levels, limiting the rate of decline. However, as production plans in the module sector decrease, impacting the upstream sector, the substantial capacity and high inventory of polysilicon will continue to exert significant pressure on prices.

The prices of wafer have still declined throughout the week. The mainstream concluded price for M10 P-type wafer is RMB 1.20/Pc, while G12 P-type wafer is priced at RMB 1.75/Pc. The mainstream concluded price for M10 N-type wafer is RMB 1.10/Pc and G12 N-type is RMB 1.65/Pc. The mainstream concluded price for N-type G12R wafers is RMB 1.45/Pc.

As Q2 comes to an end, some listed companies face increased pressure and have started selling their inventory, with wafer prices dropping below 1.1 yuan (a discount of around 5%-10%). Some downstream manufacturers believe this price is near the bottom, prompting them to purchase wafers and accelerating the depletion of wafer inventory.

Regarding production plans, this month's output is projected to be around 50-52GW. Due to severe losses, wafer manufacturers with limited cash flow have significantly cut their production. Some integrated manufacturers are operating at only 70% capacity, while most tier-2 and tier-3 manufacturers have reduced their utilization rates to 50%-60%. Some less developed manufacturers have even shut down their operations entirely.

In terms of price trends, wafer prices have remained stable this week, with only slight changes observed in G12 wafer prices. Looking ahead, there is no further room for wafer prices to decline. At current prices, wafer capacity is beginning to clear out, making it only a matter of time before the wafer supply becomes more balanced as the operational funds of lagging manufacturers are exhausted.

Cell prices stop going down this week. The mainstream concluded price for M10 cell is RMB 0.300/W, while G12 cell is priced at RMB 0.320/W. The price of M10 mono TOPCon cell is RMB 0.30/W, while that of G12 mono TOPCon cell is RMB 0.35/W.

Cell inventory remains unchanged from last week and is likely to increase. Additionally, the downstream module sector’s orders are not strong enough to significantly reduce cell inventory, making production cuts the only viable option for cell manufacturers to alleviate inventory pressure.

This month’s production plans are approximately 54-56GW, with a supply-demand gap of around 8-10GW. Cell capacity in Southeast Asia is rapidly expanding. Regarding cell prices, they have remained stable this week. However, prices may decline further if future orders decrease and cell inventory continues to rise.

Module prices have maintained stable throughout the week. The mainstream concluded price for 182mm facial mono PERC module is RMB 0.80/W, 210mm facial mono PERC module is priced at RMB 0.82/W, 182mm bifacial glass PERC module at RMB 0.82/W, and 210mm bifacial glass PERC module at RMB 0.84/W. The mainstream concluded price for 182mm bifacial TOPCon modules is RMB 0.86/W, and 210mm bifacial HJT modules at RMB 1.00/W.

Regarding planned production, module manufacturers are facing weak order volumes, leading to significant changes in their production plans. The U.S. tariff exemption is set to end in June, impacting modules produced in Southeast Asia. Consequently, integrated manufacturers with capacity in this region are experiencing frequent vacations, production suspensions, and layoffs. This month's production plans in the module sector have dropped to less than 50GW, a 14%-16% decrease from last month.

In terms of inventory, current domestic stock can sustain operations for 1 to 1.5 months. If customer demand continues to decline, inventory pressure will increase. Regionally, the rapid production of high-efficiency modules like TOPCon and HJT is making it difficult for distributors of PERC modules to move their inventory. As a result, they may lower PERC prices or target price-sensitive markets. However, analysis from the European market indicates that even high-efficiency modules face the risk of oversupply. In the U.S., the end of the tariff exemption policy could lead to higher module prices. Additionally, new domestic module capacity will continue to come online, becoming a key focus for manufacturers seeking to regain profitability.

Regarding price trends, major material and BOM prices are under pressure, leading to expected fluctuations in module costs. Grid connection issues are also emerging, intensifying competition. This week, module prices have remained stable, but transaction prices are likely to face increased downward pressure in the future.

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