Impacts from continual module price hikes have reflected on end user demand, and with the SNEC expo, an indicator for market trends in the second half of the year, taking place this week, robust demand lasted over the recent two weeks stagnated, whilst prices stopped surging after successive uptrends. Long-term orders between major manufacturers were signed at last week’s level of RMB 200-215/kg; sporadic orders were signed at around RMB 220/kg.
Zhonghuan released new pricings this week, with G1, M6, and G12 wafers with a 170μm thick being priced at RMB 5.03/piece, RMB 5.13/piece, and RMB 8.22/piece, respectively. Demand was markedly affected after these price increases. Amid waning end user demand, cell manufacturers and vertically integrated companies trimmed down utilization rates further, resulting in lower acceptability for the wafer price hike and smaller trading volumes.
Multi-Si cell price hikes ceased recently, as the module sector can hardly accept further price increases and utilization rates were driven down by the escalating pandemic India. Such pressure is thus expected to gradually ripple through the wafer sector. Presently, wafer prices remain where they were last week.
Cell prices surged amid upstream price hikes. Major module makers stopped purchasing since the RMB 1.05-1.09/W mono-Si cells were unaffordable for them. Inventory draws from medium and small module makers also weakened this week. As a result, cell prices will not be able to reflect upstream price hikes anymore.
Some cell manufacturers will cut utilization rates amid soaring production costs, driving the 60%-70% cell utilization rates even lower. As the SNEC opens, less orders will be signed, with overall trading prices remaining where they were last week.
Multi-Si cell price hikes stalled, with average prices came in at RMB 3.8-3.9/piece this week amid upstream price hikes and a rather balanced supply-demand relationship.
Recently, module prices continued to rise in response to surging polysilicon, wafer, and cell prices, with trading prices for monofacial modules with a power output exceeding 500 W gradually climbed to RMB 1.75-1.8/W, while sporadic and spot orders were signed at prices higher than RMB 1.8/W. Overseas markets saw prices increase to around USD 0.24-0.255/W.
Besides high module prices, ocean freight rates overseas continued to rise, while soaring raw material prices drove up power stations’ installation costs, significantly diminishing their profits. As a result, demand in overseas markets becomes uncertain in the third quarter, while some domestic projects are deferred to next year. With overall demand being affected, the entire PV industry is hearkening to the SNEC, during which, PV InfoLink will continue inspecting current market trends. To keep posted, please refer to the 2021 SNEC articles by PV InfoLink.
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Cell, module utilization rates reduced markedly, sending pressure to the midstream segment
Following several rounds of price increases in polysilicon and wafer in May, monofacial modules rated beyond 500 W are traded at RMB 1.75-1.8/W
Overall prices remain stable as buyers and sellers caught in standoff
The market sits on the fence during the SNEC taking place in Shanghai and the standoff continues after the exhibition.