Price increases slow across the supply chain as polysilicon prices approaching their peak
October 20, 2021 PV InfoLink
Proceeding into the second half of October, the polysilicon sector saw 3-6% of decrease in production volumes this week, as manufacturers were hit by energy intensity and consumption control at different extends, with delivering volumes varying as well.
Prices rose to yet another high range and was on the cusp of setting record high for recent years. Presently, a few orders were signed at above RMB 270/kg. Buyers from some sectors were roiled at different extents, while others negotiated and signed orders actively.
As the end of the year approaches, the degree and duration of impacts power rationing has on silicon metal and polysilicon makers will come to light, and thus makes it easier to project the long-term outlook for polysilicon supply.
After consecutive price increases, prices for mono-Si wafers stabilized this week. The cell sector, having been pressured by low utilization rates and profitability, remained in a wait and see mode. Wafer price revisions are likely, provided a cessation of the incessant polysilicon price surge by the end of the month.
For now, Tier-1 and Tier-2 mono-Si manufacturers are faced with different appeals. Pricings of Zhonghuan sat in the high-price range. Some major wafer manufacturers may release new pricings in recent terms, with the market heeding for possible changes.
Procuring activities of module makers saw no increase this week, with few orders being signed for the time being. Major vertically integrated companies provided for their module production with in-house capacities or by BOM, whilst medium and small-sized module makers dialed purchase volumes back. This week, cell prices stayed at RMB 1.12-1.16/W as last week; prices for 166mm cells sat at RMB 1.12-1.14/W. 182mm cells, with relatively steady sales volumes, saw prices increase marginally by RMB 0.01/W to RMB 1.15-1.16/W. Prices for 210mm cells sustained at RMB 1.12/W, as fewer manufacturers were buying them.
This week, multi-Si cell demand stayed sluggish, with prices sustaining at RMB 3.85-3.9/piece. Further price trend is treated conservatively, given short multi-Si wafer supply. Some module makers may opt for multi-Si cells, as prices for mono-Si products remain high.
Module prices remained chaotic this week. Orders were mostly signed with distributed projects, whilst centralized projects still negotiating. As cold weather looms, projects in China are wrapping up. Presently, price quotes continued rising despite measly trading volumes. In China, some distributed projects sealed orders with Tier-1 module makers at RMB 2.05-2.13/W for 182mm glass-backsheet modules this week, whilst Tier-2 makers saw RMB 0.02-0.05/W of price differences. Prices for glass-backsheet modules in other formats saw weaker rising momentum, coming in at RMB 2.03-2.1/W and RMB 2.08-2.1/W for the 166mm and 210mm format, respectively.
Overseas markets are rather reserved, renegotiating prices for orders previously signed. Presently, buyers and sellers remained in standoff, with end users showing limited cost durability, leaving prices for utility-scale ground-mounted projects up in the air. Price quotes kept rising in October, coming in at USD 0.28-0.295/W for glass-backsheet modules rated beyond 500 W. Being stalled by the lofty prices, end users postponed projects in Europe and India. Production costs stayed on an upward trend. As a result, module prices will fluctuate during 4Q21 and 1Q22, with outcomes of negotiations remaining obscured.
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