The polysilicon sector posts steady production this month, with production volume gradually increasing.
As of the end of the month, manufacturers focus on delivering orders. Mainstream prices are little changed for mono-grade polysilicon, with its range slowly widening since the end of last month. Still few manufacturers sign or negotiate new orders in November for now, but they will gradually start doing so. The intensity of price negotiations will be the focus of the month in upstream sectors.
Anticipation for price declines deepens. Traders have been depleting inventories faster since September, sending a stronger signal for price declines on the spot market, albeit being a small portion of total sales. Polysilicon buyers, on the other hand, keep reducing dealer inventories and stockpiles within production segments, in the hope to mitigate or prevent inventory loss.
The end of the year will be a tipping point of the supply-demand relationship in the upstream. Polysilicon will not see sharp price declines in the short term. Price declines will occur at an even later point in time if the ingot segment keeps raising utilization rates in November.
* Investigation of InfoLink covers polysilicon prices at which orders have been delivered from the previous Thursday to this Wednesday and have been signed recently. We track mainstream prices and provide feedback for the industry. Therefore, changes and future price trend will gradually emerge during periods of higher order volume. Prices for sporadic orders are to be heeded.
Longi published new pricings for mono-Si wafers this week. The leading manufacturer stopped offering price quotes for 158.75mm wafers. For 166mm and 182mm wafers, prices were unchanged in RMB terms, and adjusted downwardly in dollar terms, given exchange rate fluctuations. Zhonghuan has yet to update its mono-Si wafer pricings.
After the National Day holiday, pandemic outbreaks and ensuing regulations to varying extents disrupt production and logistics in major provinces of northwestern China. Still, mono-Si wafer production volume grows by 8-10% from a month earlier, the biggest month-on-month increase this year. Manufacturers, previously facing no inventory pressure, even negative inventory, will begin to see increasing inventory pressures and unhealthy inventory turnover from next month onwards.
As of this week, prices are little changed for mono-Si wafers in mainstream formats. Prices for downgraded wafers may lose ground. Tier-2 and Tier-3 manufacturers, though having yet to make any price adjustment, are likely to rearrange terms of business collaboration agreements to improve the circulation of wafers on the market.
Cell supply tightness persists, leaving some orders from the module sector unfulfilled. Price quotes from leading cell manufacturers sustain, but M10 cells see trading prices advance to RMB 1.34-1.35/W, and price quotes purportedly reach RMB 1.36/W, pushing up module production costs.
This week, prices come in at RMB 1.31/W, RMB 1.34-1.35/W, and RMB 1.34-1.35/W for M6, M10, and G12 cells. Prices in overseas markets slip due to exchange rate fluctuations.
Given the high season in the fourth quarter, the cell sector does not expect short supply to ease in November. Some Tier-1 and Tier-2 module makers sealed long-term orders till the end of the year to secure cell supply. On the spot market, cell prices sit relatively high as supply runs low.
Steady demand underpins prices in China, thanks to the initiation of ground-mounted projects. For glass-glass modules rated beyond 500 W, prices sustain at RMB 1.95-2.05/W, with RMB 0.01-0.03/W of price differences with glass-backsheet ones. Overall, price trends are inconsistent in the fourth quarter. Module makers sealed some long-term orders at lower prices, but production costs pressure them to close some orders slightly higher at RMB 1.98-2.05/W. It is uncertain when prices will drop during the fourth quarter.
In November, demand will sustain. The top five module makers will raise utilization rates for higher production output, which is expected to increase marginally on levels in October. However, some mid and small-scale module makers may trim down utilization rates, considering higher production costs. In addition to ceaseless cell price hikes, prices for some BOMs are poised to rise in November.
Glass prices currently sit at RMB 25.5-26.5/m2. Manufacturers expect to raise prices by RMB 0.01-0.02/m2 for new orders in November, given higher production costs and lower inventory levels.
Prices for 480-g high-transparency EVA films and white EVA films sit at RMB 13.5-14/m2 and RMB 14-14.5/m2, respectively. They are expected to rise by 10%, for equipment inspections in November could affect production volume.
For now, production costs weigh on module makers. With new glass furnaces coming online and the initial inventory of EVA particles barely covering demand, BOM supply will seem just enough in November. Therefore, BOM prices will not see marked increases.
In overseas markets, exchange rates swing, whilst freight rates plunge during September and October. Rising inflation puts off demand. In October, demand decreases by 25-35% from levels in September.
Average module prices sustain at USD 0.25-0.265/W. Module prices (FOB) sit at USD 0.25-0.28/W in Europe, USD 0.245-0.255/W in the Asia Pacific region, and USD 0.245-0.255/W in Brazil. Local module prices in India translate to around USD 0.32-0.36/W (FOB). In the U.S., prices (DDP) come in at USD 0.41-0.44/W for Southeast Asian modules, and USD 0.5-0.6/W (DDP) for locally made modules.
N-type cell and module
This week, prices remain at last week’s level. The market has yet to see many price quotes for n-type products. We will decide whether to post the spot price of G12 HJT products or not based on mass production activities of all manufacturers.
Sales of n-type cells are mainly purchased for in-house capacities, and only few are external sales. Prices sustain at RMB 1.45-1.6/W for M6 HJT cells and sit at RMB 1.41-1.45/W for M10 and G12 TOPCon cells.
Module prices fluctuate with exchange rates this week, coming in at RMB 2.1-2.15/W and USD 0.28-0.3/W in overseas markets for M6 HJT modules; RMB 2.03-2.05/W and USD 0.27-0.28/W in overseas markets for M10 and G12 TOPCon modules.