The overall demand hasn’t increased significantly before the 0630 installation boom. Despite the stable wafer, cell, and module prices, the price trend for the new orders after late-March remains unclear. However, polysilicon prices were the first one to increase this week. How will the increasing polysilicon prices affect the overall supply chain prices remains to be seen.
Polysilicon makers didn’t accumulate much stock previously. As polysilicon prices were expecting to hit the bottom last week, many wafer makers and traders have started to purchase more polysilicon, and therefore polysilicon makers took the chance to raise prices. The average trading price of polysilicon reached RMB 125-129/kg for mono-Si wafer use and RMB 115-121/kg for multi-Si wafer use.
Yet, since module demand hasn’t picked up substantially, it’s difficult for wafer makers to increase prices in the short run. That’s why the polysilicon market will witness limited price increase recently. Prices are likely to continuously increase slightly next week.
As mono and multi-Si wafer makers about to release new price quotes this week, the average trading price of wafers this week reached RMB 4.55/piece in China and US$ 0.63/piece in the overseas for mono-Si and RMB 3.68/piece in China and US$ 0.51/piece in the overseas for multi-Si.
Following the higher polysilicon prices, wafer makers can’t give in in prices as they face cost pressures. Wafer prices are expecting to become more stable recently, waiting the pricing strategies for the top two mono and multi-Si wafer makers.
The cell market saw stagnant prices before the price trend of wafers is clear. Conventional multi-Si cell prices remained the same in China, but that in the overseas continued to drop slightly this week, reaching US$ 0.178/W.
Recently, the conventional multi-Si cell market not just witnessed tough pricing, but also witnessed higher conversion efficiency requirement requested by module makers. Cell efficiency has increased to 18.6% and some orders have reached more than 18.7%. Because most cell makers that specialize in producing cells haven’t begun to implement the wet-etching black-silicon method, cells with efficiencies below 18.7% still represent the most. The higher efficiency requirement made multi-Si cell makers don’t know what to do.
Demand of mono-Si PERC cells remained weak in China. Prices stayed weak this week. Cell maker’s PERC production has increased significantly this year compared to last year, but it’s inevitable for profits to drop continuously for PERC cells.
China requested wattage raised to 275W for conventional multi-Si modules. Some projects are still unwilling to accept special technologies like Retroreflective film and half-cut, forcing module makers to increase the conversion efficiency requirement when purchasing cells. The efficiency for module itself has to be improved too. At the same time it’s more difficult for conventional multi-Si modules to reach the efficiency requested by the market, demand of conventional mono-Si modules have increased.
Despite the higher power output requirement, judging from the recent bidding results, the market still hold conservative attitude toward the module price. The average trading price of modules reached RMB 2.45-2.55/W for conventional multi-Si and RMB 2.7-2.85/W for mono-Si PERC modules.