Although demand rebounded slightly after the Lunar New Year compared to before the Lunar New Year, the growth momentum in the PV market remains weak. The PV market is still looking forward to the 0630 installation boom in China. Demand is expecting to rebound more significantly at the end of March. The overall market demand is at the darkest just before the dawn.
Since there’s still room for polysilicon prices to drop further, wafer makers still hold conservative attitudes toward the polysilicon procurement. Weak demand continues to lower polysilicon prices. The average trading price of polysilicon reached RMB 120-128/kg for mono-Si wafer use and RMB 105-118/kg for multi-Si wafer use. The price gap between the two has widened more compared to RMB 3-5/kg last week. Although overseas manufacturers stick to US$ 14/kg for solar-grade polysilicon, overseas polysilicon prices will keep declining as overseas polysilicon makers barely make any profits.
Longi, leading mono-Si wafer company, announced to lower mono-Si wafer price to RMB 4.55/piece in China and US$ 0.63/piece in the overseas. After that, other mono-Si wafer makers followed suit, leading to a stable price of RMB 4.5-4.55/piece in China and US$ 0.625-0.63/piece in the overseas this week.
Affected by mono-Si prices, the multi-Si wafer market witnessed lower prices as well, reaching RMB 3.6-3.75/piece in China and US$ 0.53/piece in the overseas.
Because the price reduction of polysilicon for multi-Si wafer use is larger than that for mono-Si wafer use, multi-Si wafer prices are expecting to drop further recently.
Despite the increasing demand in China last week, the growth momentum remains weak. Although manufacturers raised their quotes at RMB 1.4/W, the average trading price were RMB 1.33-1.35/W this week in China and reached US$ 0.178-0.183/W in the overseas. This price may be close to or even reach the cost lines of cell makers. The price drop for multi-Si cells is limited too.
Demand of mono-Si PERC cells also slightly rebounded, slowing down the price drop. The average trading price of mono-Si PERC with mainstream efficiencies reached RMB 1.6/W in China and US$ 0.225/W in the overseas.
The PV industry generally believes that demand for the 0630 installation boom this year will appear earlier than last year. However, despite the higher demand this week compared to before the Lunar New Year, the growth momentum remains weak as many projects haven’t started the constructions yet, leading to the stagnant prices recently.
For the overseas markets, as the peak-selling seasons arrived in March for India and Japan and the doubts of India’s anti-dumping and countervailing duties have been removed temporarily, India and Japan contributed more than half of the total demand in the overseas markets. Yet, after March, the overseas demand will be supported by the European market only. In addition, the Chinese demand in 2Q18 will be slightly weaker than last year.
Under the circumstances where capacities this year have increased substantially from last year, the price rebound may not be too strong for the 0630 installation boom this year.