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Unceasing polysilicon price hikes weigh on prices in midstream

June 8, 2022 PV InfoLink

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Polysilicon

Polysilicon prices advance further. Long-term orders between major manufacturers receive some discounts amid polysilicon shortage, but median price keeps going up. Sporadic orders see prices stay elevated. Despite both pandemic and transportation logjam in China showing signs of easing, excess polysilicon demand has yet to be resolved. Pressures continue to build for polysilicon buyers, especially new ingot capacities in need of polysilicon to generate actual output.

Trading prices for mono-grade polysilicon rise to RMB 260-268/kg, whilst recycled polysilicon scrap is traded at RMB 263-270/kg. Polysilicon from outside of China enjoys premiums, with prices reaching beyond RMB 280/kg. 

Some polysilicon manufacturers plan to commission new or modified production capacities by the end of the second quarter. But additions to actual production volumes are little, as new capacities need three to four months to come online, boosting production volumes in the third quarter. Doubled with changing U.S. policies, if end user demand sustains, polysilicon prices are not likely to drop in the short term. Even next year will not see evident decline.

Wafer

As of this week, the two wafer supermajors keep prices for mainstream formats unchanged but trim down prices in dollar terms as per fluctuating exchange rates. Prices for mono-Si wafers of Tier-2 manufacturers see little change, stabilizing for the time being. However, discrepancies among prices for mono-Si wafers in different formats are likely, given ceaseless price hikes and shortage in the polysilicon sector.

Still suffering from polysilicon shortage, the bottlenecked wafer sector fails to raise utilization rates, bring up new production capacity, and increase production output. Wafer manufacturers still see healthy inventory levels, and that of downstream buyers returns to normal. Yet, inventory risk exists. As more cell production capacities are upgraded for 182mm, the gap between both supply and demand for large format wafers and the rest will widen.

Multi-Si wafer prices go all the way up amid shrinking supply, hovering above RMB 3/piece for now. Multi-Si products will retreat as India retires production lines gradually in the second half of the year.

Multi-Si wafer prices will not be posted from July onward.

Cell

Cell manufacturers keep modifying M6 production lines for M10 cells. To meet market demand, some of them change fixtures of G12 production lines to produce M10 cells. This month, production volume of M10 cells increases but still falls short of end user demand, keeping prices elevated.

Cell prices stabilize this week. Trading prices for M6, M10, and G12 cells come in at RMB 1.14-1.17/W, RMB 1.18-1.2/W, and RMB 1.16-1.18/W, respectively. Multi-Si cells see similar price trend, with prices sitting at RMB 4.25-4.45/piece, and USD 0.57-0.59/piece in overseas markets.

M10 cell prices may pick up amid short supply. M6 becomes a special spec, of which price trend no longer follows that of mainstream formats but depends on market demand instead. 

Module

Module prices are little change this week. Orders are delivered at RMB 1.86-1.9/W for concentrated projects, and RMB 1.92-1.96/W for distributed projects, with RMB 0.02-0.04/W of differences between glass-glass modules rated beyond 500 W and their glass-backsheet counterparts.

Module prices can hardly drop in the second half of the year due to currently high production costs. Some concentrated projects will initiate, possibly seeing module prices rise by RMB 0.01-0.02/W from RMB 1.88-1.9/W. 

Prices stabilize for the time being in overseas markets. The Asia-Pacific region sees prices sitting at USD 0.26-0.27/W (FOB). In India, price quotes keep climbing in accordance with tariff rates. No order materialize has been materialized at higher prices, which cast uncertainties on project schedules. This week, prices are little changed. Europe sees prices sustain at USD 0.27-.028/W for mono-Si modules rated beyond 500 W, coming in at USD 0.28-0.295/W on the spot market.

As of this week, demand from overseas underpins module order volumes. Module inventories continue piling up, as projects in China see some inertia. Some module makers see inventory slightly higher than a healthy level, whilst some seek to shift pressures to BOM. In June, module makers pare back BOM purchases, such as EVA and glass, weighing on BOM prices. Negotiations continue for new glass orders, with prices potentially sustain.

N-type cell and module

Prices see no evident changes as the market has yet to see many price quotes for n-type products. Prices for M6 HJT cells sit at around RMB 1.3-1.45/W.

M10 and G12 TOPCon cells have not seen much trading by far, with prices coming in at RMB 1.25-1.27/W for the time being.

Module prices sustain this week, coming in at RMB 2.1-2.15/W for M6 HJT modules, and USD 0.285-0.33/W in overseas markets.

M10 and G12 TOPCon module prices stay where they were last week, at RMB 2-2.05/W, and USD 0.285-0.33/W in overseas markets.

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