Overall prices remain stable as buyers and sellers caught in standoff
June 9, 2021 PV InfoLink
The market sits on the fence during the SNEC taking place in Shanghai and the standoff continues after the exhibition. As a result, few new orders were signed in the recent term. As polysilicon buyers wanted to hold down prices for long-term orders, while polysilicon manufacturers, with no inventory pressure, are biding their time, putting the two parties in stalemate. This week, only manufacturers suffering from severer polysilicon supply continue purchasing, with some sporadic orders being signed at around RMB 220/kg. Overseas markets were also sitting on the fence, with prices stayed temporarily at last week’s level.
Calculated based on current prices, polysilicon prices may have peaked at RMB 200-220/kg in the short term, as module prices can hardly rise further. Recent price trends hinge on recent negotiations among upstream and downstream sectors.
Demand dropped markedly after Zhonghuan released new pricings at the end of May. As end user demand gradually weakened, cell manufacturers and vertically integrated companies cut utilization rates, while some major manufacturers even stopped purchasing. Sellers and buyers were caught in standoff, with only few orders being signed at prices equal to or slightly higher than Zhonghuan’s official pricings this week. The market still awaits new official pricings from Longi.
Price upward trend for multi-Si wafer ceases due to lowered cell utilization rates. Price stayed where they were last week.
After the SNEC, different sectors started negotiating orders this week but were still in standoff. Mono-Si cell prices stayed at RMB 1.05-1.09/W, with high price range sitting at RMB 1.07-1.08/W, where order volumes gradually decreased. Early in June, major module makers continued ceasing procurements, slowing inventory draws for G1, M6, and G12 cells. Some manufacturers stopped negotiating for G1 and M6 products, whereas trading for M10 products still continues, although the volume gradually dropped amid low module utilization rates. With the Dragon Boat Festival holiday looming, some cell manufacturers may trim down utilization rates to 40%-50%. Overall order volumes remained uncertain. Trading prices for bulk orders are anticipated to stay at RMB 1.05-1.06/W for the moment amid the stagnating market.
Inventory draws for multi-Si cells slowed, owing to the high prices and impacts from Indian tariff being due by the end of July. This week, prices came in at RMB 3.8-3.9/piece. Price hikes stalled with rather balanced supply-demand relationships.
The recent short supply mitigated, as the National Energy Administration extended the grid connection deadline for grid parity projects to next year in the notice issued earlier. With installation capacity goal to achieve this year, the domestic market will not be significantly affected. However, pessimistic views already emerged in the market with rather high module inventory levels.
Overall, prices for monofacial modules with a power output exceeding 500 W remained at RMB 1.75-1.8/W; sporadic and spot orders were signed at prices higher than RMB 1.8/W, whilst overseas markets saw orders signed at USD 0.24-0.255/W. Such prices are estimated to reach high points by now, as uncertainties for module demand increased and demand overseas weakened in Q3 on current pricings.
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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
Price trend to be monitored as SNEC unveils in Shanghai
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.