Prices remained still up until last Wednesday since last Wednesday was still during the Lunar New Year Holidays. But by Thursday, polysilicon prices began to drop. Afterwards, Longi immediately adjusted mono-Si wafer prices, affecting the price trend of the entire supply chain.
Under the circumstances where polysilicon and wafer makers couldn’t reach a compromise on the prices, polysilicon for mono-Si wafer use barely had any transaction while polysilicon for multi-Si wafer use witnessed slight decline of prices before the Lunar New Year. After the Lunar New Year, polysilicon for both mono and multi-Si wafer use will begin to witness lower prices for new orders under negotiation. The average trading price continues to hit a new record every day.
The average trading price of polysilicon for mono-Si wafer use reached RMB 120-135/kg, RMB 3-5/kg higher than polysilicon for multi-Si wafer use. Prices of polysilicon for multi-Si wafer use reached RMB 115-123/kg in China and lower than US$ 15/kg in the overseas. Following the rapid decline of mono and multi-Si wafer profits, wafer manufacturers are expecting to keep putting pressures on polysilicon prices. Next week, polysilicon prices should still drop more than 3% in China.
Longi, leading mono-Si wafer manufacturer, announced the latest price quote in February 23rd. The significant decline of prices shocked the entire supply chain: the average trading price of 180µm mono-Si wafers dropped from RMB 4.8/piece and US$ 0.67/piece to RMB 4.55/piece in China and US$ 0.63/piece in the overseas. Other manufacturers had to follow suit after Longi announced the new prices, leading to a market price of RMB 4.5-4.55/piece in China and US$ 0.625-0.63/piece in the overseas.
Such significant price reduction of mono-Si wafers further shows the cost effectiveness of mono-Si products and it undoubtedly affects the price trend of multi-Si wafers. Consequently, the average trading price of multi-Si wafers dropped from RMB 4/piece and US$ 0.56/piece before the Lunar New Year to RMB 3.8/piece in China and US$ 0.55/piece in the overseas.
Since the price reduction of multi-Si wafers is not as severe as mono-Si, multi-Si wafer prices are expecting to decline further recently.
Although the price war is becoming more intense for wafers, cell makers have already gone through that stage before the Lunar New Year, making the cell sector more difficult to gain profits. Chinese cell makers have started to pull up prices after the Lunar New Year. Yet, cell prices slightly declined in Taiwan following wafer makers’ give in in prices. Currently, Chinese multi-Si cell makers have increased the prices to RMB 1.4/W as they can sense that demand will slowly increase, but module makers haven’t come to a compromise on the rising cell prices. For Taiwanese cells, prices reached US$ 0.182-0.183/W. Since the price trend is divergent between China and Taiwan, the price trend recently remains to be seen.
Prices of conventional mono and mono-Si PERC will decline further like mono-Si wafers.
The PV industry generally believes that demand for the 0630 installation boom will appear earlier than last year and we could clearly verify that after the Lunar New Year. Demand has increased to a level higher than before the Lunar New Year this week. Not just top-tier manufacturers will be in full production status, second-tier module makers will also witness high order visibility, allowing mono and multi-Si module prices to remain stable after the Lunar New Year. But as the upstream sectors witness significant decline in prices and downstream sectors see weak demand, module prices are not likely to rebound slightly until there’s stronger demand support.