With May being just a few days apart, the highly anticipated 630 installation boom has not shown any hint of appearance. China’s domestic demand is seeing slight increase, but it is not vigorous enough to bring along the high season. The overall supply chain prices now appear inconsistent, causing chaotic trends.
Regardless of the fact that high season has not made its arrival, mono-Si and multi-Si wafer manufacturers are still at high capacity utilization rates. Also, wafer capacity is currently the highest of the entire supply chain, causing a slight undersupply situation in the polysilicon segment. This week’s polysilicon price increased marginally, as the strike price of mono-Si wafer use came to RMB 131/kg and multi-Si wafer use reached RMB 127/kg. The price trend is still in escalation.
Overseas polysilicon price grew to US$ 14.3-16.2/kg this week, continuing to slightly increase with domestic polysilicon price trend.
Top-tier wafer manufacturers have not released quotes for May so far, leading to unchanged mono-Si wafer price this week. Multi-Si wafer price continue to decline due to over-inventory situations in several manufacturers, went down to RMB 3.58/piece (US$ 0.5), expected to stay downwards in the near future.
Cell manufacturers called for another price increase last week. However, conventional mono-Si and multi-Si cells have not seen outnumbering new orders due to unaffected wafer price in May. Most overseas cell manufacturers kept unchanged strike price this week. Cells with conversion efficiency higher than 18.6% averaged US$ 0.182/W.
The Taiwanese market recently welcomed an installation boom, and PERC module use grew in China’s large power stations. As a result, PERC cells became higher in demand than the other cell products. PERC cell price in Taiwan increased to US$ 0.227-0.228/W. In addition, China’s cell manufacturers are preparing for a price increase in PERC cells, but actual markup in the future is still to be determined based on mono-Si wafer list price.
Judging from recent new policies for domestic market, a slight installation boom for distributed generation systems can be seen in the second half of this year. However, the targeted cost of the systems is far lower than that in last year due to FiT reduction, leading to currently declining module prices.
Multi-Si module price came to RMB 2.45/W recently; small manufacturers even saw prices lower than RMB 2.4/W. Conventional mono-Si price became common at RMB 2.5-2.55/W. Despite being higher in demand recently, PERC modules is still on a decline, resting at RMB 2.6-2.7/W. The price difference against mono-Si modules have since shortened.
As the 630 installation boom is now rather calm despite in a high season, inventory levels stays unpromising despite high utilization rates in top-tier module manufacturers. As a result, the overall module prices in May can stay in a slight decrease.