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Updated September 07, 2017

There are several uncertainties in the PV industry recently: We can’t estimate how much impact will the “Section 201” and India’s anti-dumping investigation bring. It’s very likely that there will be another installation boom for distributed generation (DG) systems by the end of this year in China. In addition, the continuous increase of raw material prices has made manufacturers difficult to control their costs. The price downtrend that originally forecasted for late-September will remain to be seen.
 

Poly

As top-tier polysilicon makers like XTNY and Daqo Solar are conducting the equipment maintenance in September, the polysilicon market continued to witness tight supply. The average trading price of polysilicon has increased to RMB 146-150/kg in China. Some polysilicon makers have postponed the equipment maintenance to October and November. Therefore, the polysilicon shortage will be evenly seen in different months.

The biggest variable in the future is China’s strict environmental protection regulation on the polysilicon costs and the impacts brought by the output. Currently, manufacturers are negotiating for the orders in October. Whether polysilicon prices will have supports will depend on if the demands will remain strong after China’s National Holidays. It’s projected that polysilicon prices will remain high in the short run. 
 

Wafer

The supply shortage has been alleviated for multi-Si wafers recently. Although the demands for diamond wire sawing has continuously increased, manufacturers can mostly purchase enough multi-Si wafers. The average trading price of multi-Si wafers reached RMB 5.1-5.3/piece for slurry and RMB 4.65-4.75/piece for diamond wire sawing in China. For Taiwan, slurry multi-Si wafer is priced at US$ 0.69-0.72/piece and the highest price of super high-efficiency wafers reached US$ 0.75/piece.

Because leading wafer makers have revised the prices upward, the average trading price of mono-Si wafers reached RMB 6-6.2/piece in China and US$ 0.78-0.84/piece in Taiwan.
 

Cell

Most of the cell orders for September have been confirmed. In addition, the multi-Si cell market witnessed tight lead time and slight short supply in China, leading to more stable prices this week. The average trading price of conventional cells reached RMB 1.74-1.75/W for multi-Si and RMB 1.84-1.87/W for mono-Si cells.

A larger proportion of the overseas orders have been placed with Taiwanese cell makers in September. Since Europe has higher tolerance in prices, Taiwanese cell prices stayed flat at US$ 0.235-0.237/W.
 

Module

Due to the environmental protection regulation, prices have increased significantly for all sectors of the supply chain. Module makers hope to pass the high costs on the downstream power plants. But owing to the weaker Chinese demand and a substantial increase in the overseas prices from July to August, there were not much price fluctuation in the world. The average trading price of conventional multi-Si modules reached RMB 2.75-2.8/W in China. Conventional mono-Si prices remained stable as well.

Looking ahead, manufacturers’ early preparations of the stock for China’s upcoming National Holidays can support the prices in late-September. Consequently, the overall supply chain prices will stay flat next week. However, the demands may weaken significantly after China’s National Holidays, leading to lower overall supply chain prices again. But if there will be another installation boom for DG systems in the end of this year, demand will peak again, resulting in strong demand during the off-peak selling season.