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Module prices slipped in China as mid-stream prices declined

July 7, 2021 PV InfoLink

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Polysilicon

Buyers and sellers remained in stalemate this week, with barely any new orders signed. Market prices stayed at previous levels.

Wafer manufacturers continued pressuring polysilicon prices, hoping for the latter to drop below RMB 200/kg. However, with no inventory pressures, the polysilicon sector is expected to sustain prices at RMB 200-210/kg in the short term.

Overseas markets also sat on the fence and saw no new orders signed. Additionally, actual impacts on Xinjiang exports of cells and modules to the U.S. remained unclear and awaits the U.S. for further details on sanctions against PV products from Xinjiang.

Wafer

After Zhonghuan revised down new pricings, wafer manufacturers other than Longi followed suit, with trading prices sitting at or around the same level. However, buyers still wavered amid low cell utilization rates and took their time placing orders.

Multi-Si wafers were undersold amid dwindling demand. In China, prices saw continual declines, with mainstream prices crossing the RMB 2/piece threshold and coming in at RMB 1.9/piece; some orders were even signed at around RMB 1.7/piece. Price differences emerged between China and abroad, as demand and prices are relatively stable in overseas markets.

Cell 

Price downward trends continued for cells, diving lower than RMB 1/W this week. In the meantime, the market sat on the fence, with some major module makers ceasing purchasing, whilst inventory draws of medium and small module makers slowed. The cell sector saw low trading volumes amid current pricings. As demand shifted to large format cells, M6 cells, with large production capacity, will see faster declines in prices, which had dropped to RMB 0.96-1.01/W this week. Orders were averagely signed at RMB 0.98-1/W this week. Orders being delivered by manufacturers now are mostly orders signed at RMB 1/W last week. Next week, there will be more orders signed at RMB 0.97-0.98/W.

Orders for large format cells are presently signed at RMB 1-1.02/W, while some were signed at prices lower than RMB 1/W in the low-price range. G12 cells saw low trading activities and had no sales despite low prices, since module makers were not buying.

This week, multi-Si cells saw low order volumes and weak inventory draws, with prices dropped to RMB 3.3-3.4/piece, in accordance with slow wafer price declines. In July, multi-Si cell price fluctuations will gradually stall amid unabating Covid-19 pandemic in India and lower utilization rates.

Module 

Prices for some module orders in China slipped after wafer and cell price declines. Vertically integrated companies and Tier-2 manufactures saw distinctive price differences. Tier-1 vertically integrated companies’ orders saw little price movement, with most of which staying at the same price or some previously signed at higher levels saw marginal decreases; bulk orders for glass-backsheet modules were signed at RMB 1.77-1.79/W. Tier-2 manufacturers, on the other hand, started to see orders signed at RMB 1.75/W or even lower.

However, module prices may not see marked declines, given polysilicon prices are expected to stabilize in recent terms and the coming installation rush in the fourth quarter of the year. Prices in overseas markets will stay at current levels within the short term.

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