M2 cells fare poorly in price as a result of weaker Chinese demand
March 4, 2020 PV InfoLink
With most producers having clinched deals for March, this week’s polysilicon prices showed little difference from their previous levels, hovering at RMB 72–75/kg for mono-Si wafers and RMB 44–51/kg for multi-Si wafers. Increased costs of raw and bill of materials is hitting polysilicon makers, but as mono-Si and multi-Si wafer prices remain stable, the market price for polysilicon in March has climbed by RMB 0.5–1/kg.
Fewer polysilicon deals were clinched this week because some operating producers of multi-Si wafers, which experienced a protracted production lull during an extended New Year holiday, are reducing their polysilicon stock. There are currently eleven operating polysilicon producers in China this month. Three of them maintained a 70% utilization rate due to a lack of silicon powder; two are operating with lower utilization rates because they fall short of their production targets, and the rest are running at full capacity.
Foreign polysilicon prices maintained their previous levels because of stable exchange rates, staying at USD 8.3/kg for mono-Si wafers and USD 6.7/kg for multi-Si wafers.
The list price for mono-Si wafers for March is consistent with that for February. Notably, the list price for mono-Si wafers has not changed over the past year, suggesting strong demand for mono products. As a shortage of module bill of materials caused module makers to operate under capacity and mono-Si cell stock to bulge, mono-Si cell prices dropped in the previous week. Nevertheless, it appears that module inventory draw is growing stronger. If the coronavirus epidemic subsides and new capacities come online, mono-Si cell prices will decline steadily because of oversupply. This week’s Chinese mono-Si wafer prices hovered at RMB 2.98–3.08/piece for M2 and 3.27–3.35/piece for G1; foreign prices for M2 and G1 mono-Si wafers both maintained their previous levels.
With Indian developers rushing to install PV systems before the fiscal year ends and multi-Si cell producers operating with low utilization rates, multi-Si cell prices this week were identical to their previous levels, staying at RMB 2.8–2.85/piece in the market. Multi-Si cell prices are forecast to remain at the current levels for the short run, as the supply of the cell takes time to pick up and India’s demand for it will stay strong until the fiscal year ends in March.
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