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Photovoltaic Industry Price Trend: G1 Cell Continues to Decline Steadily, and Module Quotations Once Again Elevated due to Increased Cost

Polysilicon

The prices in the overall polysilicon market this week remain stable, where the prices in the domestic polysilicon market sit firmly, and an increase has been seen in overseas quotations. As the status in the polysilicon provision gradually improves in September, the bargaining between polysilicon and downstream sectors has started to alleviate, and the price for mono polysilicon is currently at RMB 95-105/kg, with an average price of RMB 101/kg, whereas the mainstream quotation for multi polysilicon is maintained at RMB 65-72/kg. In terms of overseas prices, the fluctuation in the exchange rate has prompted the global multi polysilicon to rise to US$8.481-13.7/kg.

Looking at the supply and demand for the existing polysilicon market, downstream wafer manufacturers have successively signed for long-term orders with polysilicon businesses since the wave of inflation derived from the supply chain since August in order to ensure product provision, which has laid down a foundation for the progressively stabilized polysilicon market. The production of polysilicon in Xinjiang previously affected by the COVID-19 pandemic has resumed operation in mid-September, where both DQ and Xinte have arrived at full load, and the multi polysilicon base of Sichuan that had temporarily suspended production due to flooding is also expected to gradually recover in production capacity during October. Hence, the overall polysilicon provision remains on a climbing slope, though it has mitigated the current tight supply of polysilicon.

Wafer

The overall prices of wafers remain stable this week, and the impact from the changes to the downstream prices is gradually manifesting. Under the impact from the stabilized polysilicon quotations, the overall wafer quotations in the domestic market remain anchored this week, where the average prices of G1 and M6 mono-Si wafers remain at RMB 3.1/pc and RMB 3.1-3.25/pc respectively. The overseas markets have sustained a slight increase in prices due to the fluctuated exchange rate, where multi-Si wafers have been revised upward to US$0.203-0.214/pc, and the average prices of G1 and M6 mono-Si wafers have been marginally escalated, arriving at US$0.387/pc and US$0.408/pc respectively, with the price difference between the two being expanded to US$0.021/pc.

As downstream cell sectors continue to release the signal of loosening prices, the mono-Si wafer quotations from partial second and third-tier wafer businesses have exhibited a declining trend, where a number of G1 quotations have been dropped below RMB 2.95/pc, though the overall transaction volume remains on the inferior end. Simultaneously, under the impact from the incessantly unswerving upstream polysilicon prices, first-tier wafer businesses have yet to implement adjustments despite possessing pricing power, which actuates overall stable prices. With downstream leading businesses such as Longi and JA Solar successively initiating production of large-scale cell modules, the shipment intensity in large-scale wafers from mainstream wafer businesses may amplify, which is expected to continue to stabilize the prices of large-scale wafers in the short term.

Cells

The pressure in the cell market persists this week, where G1 cell has seen a small decrease in prices. After the loosened quotations for G1 mono-si cells from partial businesses last week, more businesses have lowered the prices of G1 this week, which propels the overall reduction in G1 quotations, and a number of businesses have started to experience inventory accumulation that has aggravated the subsequent depleting pressure in G1 products and prompted a simultaneously downward revision in domestic and overseas quotations for G1 mono-Si cells this week, with the overall price interval being adjusted to RMB 0.85-0.9/W and US$0.127-0.138/W respectively. 

The overall stabilized quotations for upstream and downstream multi-Si cells, as well as the insignificant fluctuation in the demand for multi-Si cells, have resulted in sturdy quotations for multi-Si cells this week at RMB 0.53-0.6/W. Looking into the subsequent market, the overall market demand for 4Q20 is optimistic, though the recovery in the overall operating rate of cells may be postponed to late September or early October due to the perpetual supply pressure from the cell market within the short term.

Modules

The elevated module cost due to the quotations for auxiliary products has prompted an increase in prices for the module market this week. The primary products in the current domestic market of 325-335W/395-405W and 355-365W /425-435W mono-Si PERC modules have been respectively elevated to RMB 1.6/W and RMB 1.62/W respectively in average prices. However, due to the continuously loosening upstream cell quotations, the end market persists in applying pressure when purchasing modules, thus the upstream and downstream sectors are tangled up in the bargaining phase with each order having its own price, and the actual closing prices for a majority of module businesses have not been evidently fluctuated. Regarding the status of grid-connection in the market, the average of household installation was at roughly 1GW between July and August, with accumulation of deferred grid-connection and UHV projects from 1H20, indicating an optimistic market demand for 3Q20. In addition, the previously impeded supply of modules has led to the ability in module shipment in batches for domestic downstream projects, and the domestic market is expected to initiate another wave of congregated photovoltaic projects and grid-connection in October prior to the holiday.

The overseas markets are seeing a continuous ascension in the quotations and successive conclusion for a small amount of module spots, among which, the 325-335W/395-405W mono-Si PERC module has been increased to US$0.208-0.326/W, and the 355-365W /425-435W mono-Si PERC module has arrived at US$0.232-0.364/W. The second outbreak of the pandemic in primary markets of the US, Europe, Japan, and Korea has not subverted the recovering trend in the overall photovoltaic demand. On the contrary, the Indian market is sustaining the largest degree of pressure, where the progress in the implementation of photovoltaic projects has been substantially hindered this year, with less than 2GW of installed capacity during 1H20. The dynamic in inventory pull for the specific local market remains diminutive, though the overall impact from the pandemic is gradually mitigated, which leads to a marginal recovery in the demand for multi-Si modules, and propels the overseas price of 275-280 / 330-335W multi-Si module to climb back to US$0.19-0.31/W.


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