China’s polysilicon prices for mono-Si and multi-Si wafer remained stable this week. With most makers of mono-Si and multi-Si wafers having drawn inventories of polysilicon for multi-Si wafers in the previous week, deals have basically been clinched before the Chinese New Year holiday and only a few orders are still being negotiated, according to some producers.
Thanks to strong end-market demand for mono products, the trading price for polysilicon for mono-Si wafer remain stable at RMB 71–74/kg in the Chinese market, allowing some polysilicon producers to reduce their inventories.
This week’s polysilicon price for multi-Si wafer was RMB 45–51/kg. The mainstream polysilicon for multi-Si wafer was quoted at RMB 51–52/kg by Tier-1 makers and RMB 45–51/kg by Tier-2 and Tier-3 producers. Yet, few new deals were clinched—mainly because the widespread purchase of lower-grade polysilicon by multi-Si wafer makers in their orders forced the average polysilicon price for multi-Si wafers to stay at RMB 42–44/kg and even lower price levels and, in turn, allowed the multi-Si wafer to reach a price level below its market price.
Foreign polysilicon prices for mono-Si and multi-Si wafers were stable this week, despite some fluctuations in the USD/RMB exchange rate and fewer deals completed. If the current USD/RMB exchange rate stays the same after the Chinese New Year holiday, foreign polysilicon prices for mono-Si and multi-Si wafers would climb by around USD 0.1/kg.
China’s multi-Si wafer price hovered at RMB 1.47–1.55/piece this week. End-market customers with multi-Si demand held expectations for reductions in multi-Si wafer prices. Yet, the supply of multi-Si wafers dropped a bit after some bargain deals were made on the mainstream polysilicon for multi-Si wafers in the previous week, leading a shortage of such polysilicon, and several multi-Si wafer makers are going to close up ahead of the Chinese New Year holiday and kept reducing their utilization rates.
Overall, multi-Si wafers will continue to hold up in price before the Chinese New Year holiday but may run a bit low in supply after the holiday. Yet, multi-Si wafer prices are not likely to climb, although they may sustain less decline and even stabilize.
With strong end-market demand for mono products and frequent transactions in the spot market, this week’s mono-Si wafer prices were stable, coming in at RMB 2.98–3.06/piece in the market. The 156.75 mm (M2) wafer is running low in supply because it accounts for the lion’s share of inventory draw by the end market and mono-Si wafer makers have picked up the pace in shifting their production lines to larger wafers since the end of last year.
With the safeguard duty due to be reduced, the Indian market has started to recover, leading to a small pick-up in demand for multi-Si cells. So, the Chinese price for multi-Si cells sustained less decline this week, arriving at RMB 2.65–2.7/piece in the market. There were deals clinched at price levels higher or lower than the market price, depending on the number of orders that producers received. As India is going to enter a busy period, demand for multi-Si cells will remain stable after the Chinese New Year holiday and until March.
As China’s 2019 installation rush for tendered PV projects has continued into Q1 this year and mono-Si wafers is running low in supply, prices for mono PERC cells may hold up before the Chinese New Year holiday—with those made of the M2 wafer staying at RMB 0.95/W and those made of the G1 wafer mostly hovering at RMB 0.97–0.98/W. Tier-2 makers, however, offered a slightly lower quote of RMB 0.95–0.96/W for mono PERC cells made of G1.
Many multi-Si cell producers will stay closed longer than expected during the Chinese New Year holiday to maintain a healthy inventory level. Some mono-Si cell makers are going to close for a while during the holiday, but most will be operating with relatively high utilization rates.
As the Indian market is recovering, prices for multi-Si modules can stabilize. A pick-up in end-market multi-Si demand between February and March is expected.
As some PV projects from 2019 are either pending installation or being installed, prices for mono PERC modules will remain stable before and after the Chinese New Year holiday. However, module prices are likely to trend downward as the module market will become stagnant in Q2.