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Market in wait and see mode for next round of new orders

November 17, 2021 PV InfoLink

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Polysilicon

The polysilicon sector has been delivering orders for now but saw few new orders signed. Purchase activities slowed, as the market was more and more in a wait and see mode.

Major polysilicon manufacturers tentatively offered RMB 271-273/kg of price quotes, while few price quotes from traders went down. Although average market prices sustained at around RMB 269/kg, the rising momentum will wane, for higher prices lack supports. Mainstream polysilicon prices are expected to drop for the next round of orders. Still, fast, marked declines are not likely to occur in the short term.

With huge discrepancy between mindsets of sellers and buyers, negotiations for polysilicon prices escalated. Sellers saw deliveries being postponed to different extents, but still mulled over the seriousness and impacts of cancellations. Sellers have been prepared for further price trend, but disagreeing attitudes with buyers added fuel to the already intense price negotiations.

Wafer

Leading mono-Si wafer manufacturers kept prices at previous levels for now, with no evident downward revision yet. However, manufacturers may have seen mono-Si wafer inventory piling up, as shipments were hit at various degrees.

This week, more of other manufacturers trimmed down prices for mono-Si wafers to varying extents. M10 wafers saw the most significant revision, with low-price range of price quotes moving downwardly to RMB 6.65/piece. However, whether this can stir up inventory draws hinges on how fast the cell sector depletes inventory. Afterall, demand for wafers from some cell manufacturers have started to slow markedly, whilst some even suspended deliveries.

End user demand was evidently stemmed by supply chain price fluctuations this year, given that demand was usually robust in a year’ end. Still, given policy framework and various incentives, the industry is widely convinced that end users have considerable demand for stockpiling, despite imbalanced supply-demand relationship in the upstream and that price negotiation being in full swing.

Cell

The market remained in a wait and see mode this week. Manufacturers only purchased at small volumes, with anticipation for cell prices to drop in December in accordance with upstream price declines. Average prices for 166mm cells fell to RMB 1.1/W this week, with low-price range slid to RMB 1.08-1.09/W. 182mm cells saw relatively steady sales volumes, but prices only retained at RMB 1.15-1.16/W for the time being, as the market appeared reserved amid module makers’ decreasing purchase volumes and signs of dropping of upstream prices. 210mm cells, with fewer buyers, saw prices stay at RMB 1.1-1.12/W. 

Multi-Si cell prices decreased marginally to RMB 3.7-3.9/piece this week due to sluggish demand. Further price trend is treated conservatively, given short multi-Si wafer supply.

Module

This week, orders were delivered at previous prices, with prices for 166mm glass-backsheet modules sitting at RMB 2.03-2.05/W, whilst glass-backsheet modules with a power output exceeding 500 W saw prices average at RMB 2.04-2.07/W. Demand appeared rather tepid during November and December. Module makers cleared out backlogs in advance under inventory pressures. 166mm modules, having some previously signed orders yet to be delivered and corresponding supply and demand volumes, saw prices declining at a slower pace, approaching to price range of modules rated beyond 500 W, for which price quotes dipped under RMB 2/W, as module makers offered lower price quotes for December to secure orders and sell out inventories amid the still sapping demand. Some module makers have purportedly offered RMB 1.96-1.98/W of price quotes.

Prices stabilized in overseas markets. For previous orders of glass-backsheet modules rated beyond 500 W were delivered at USD 0.25-0.255/W, whilst new orders saw price quotes slide to USD 0.28-0.285/W. Overall, few new orders were signed for the fourth quarter, as overseas markets were more in a wait and see mode. Prices in some distributed markets slightly lose ground.

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