Aside from the equipment maintenance conducted by the largest Chinese polysilicon maker, other manufacturers have resumed their productions. The average trading price of polysilicon is likely to reach RMB 153-157/kg in China. Overseas polysilicon prices also increased following the rise of Chinese polysilicon prices, reaching US$ 15-16/kg and will increase further.
Although wafer is priced at RMB 5.4/piece (US$ 0.725/piece) for the two leading manufacturers Longi and Zhonghuan, smaller-scale mono-Si wafer makers couldn’t increase the prices after clearing out the stock at a cheaper price in the end of last year. Therefore, wafer is priced at RMB 5.1-5.3/piece (US$ 0.7-0.71/piece) for smaller-scale manufacturers.
The average trading price of multi-Si wafers reached RMB 4.5-4.65/piece (US$ 0.64/piece), similar to leading manufacturers’ price quotes.
What’s worth notice is that the increase of overseas polysilicon prices recently may once again squeeze the profits of Taiwanese and Korean wafer makers, forcing them to face tough conditions because wafer prices will drop further.
After cell prices were adjusted last week following the lower wafer prices, the mono & multi-Si cell markets saw more stable prices this week. The transaction of conventional mono and mono-Si PERC cells remained weak, but the price drop has slowed down. Recent prices are not that different from the end of last month. Overseas mono-Si PERC cell is still priced at US$ 0.245/W.
Multi-Si cell is priced at RMB 1.65-1.7/W in China and US$ 0.214-0.219/W in the overseas.
Although cell prices are more stable recently, cell makers may face price pressures following the lower module prices in China before the Lunar New Year.
After the 2018 FiT is announced, demand for distributed generation (DG) systems has dropped. In addition, as the Lunar New Year approaches and the installation progress of utility-scale projects slows down, the average trading price of conventional mono and multi-Si modules have dropped to RMB 2.68-2.7/W.
Overall, demand remained strong from the start of the PV EXPO in Shanghai to the end of 2017. However, as the off-peak selling season approaches in 2018, the market becomes conservative toward the demand. Prices may begin to drop for both downstream and upstream sectors, leading to weak price trend again.