The dramatic downturn of polysilicon and wafers caused by the 531 new policies have calmed down. Multi-Si cells have also become steady thanks to consistent demand from non-Chinese markets. InfoLink provides all of the decreases recorded from June to early July, as shown in the table below. As multi-Si products started a downtrend early in May, mono-Si products had a more dramatic decrease from late June to early July. Further, module prices in all markets are still in a decline due to low global demand in Q3.
The average polysilicon price is close to the bottom line, and the mono-Si wafer use only had a slight decrease this week. Other segments did not see significant fluctuations. In China, multi-Si wafer use prices reached to RMB 75-80/kg, while mono-Si wafer use prices came to RMB 93/kg. The market prices have gone lower than the RMB 100/kg threshold. For non-Chinese markets, most wafer makers are still extremely low in utilization rates, which can lead to slight adjustments in market prices.
Such prices are lower than the cash costs of numerous non-Chinese poly makers and some of the second-tier Chinese poly makers. Therefore, manufacturers have begun examination or planed production reduction.
Since the dramatic price cut by the two major manufacturers in late June, Mono-Si wafer prices have come to levels most mono-Si wafer makers are unable to follow up. Further, the price gap between mono-Si and multi-Si wafers have shortened to RMB 1/piece, US$ 0.13/piece. As a result, a major downturn of mono-Si wafer prices is unlikely in the future under the condition that the multi-Si wafer segment have stopped its recent decrease.
For multi-Si wafers, the advantage in C/P ratio have become apparent thanks to the price gap against mono-Si wafers enlarged from April to June. Demands are higher in non-Chinese markets, while inventories have mostly gone back to normal levels due to the constantly low utilization rates for multi-Si wafers of 30 to 40%. Multi-Si wafer makers have begun to slightly increase in prices, leading to the disappearance of clearance prices lower than RMB 2.3/piece commonly seen previously.
Following the decrease in the purchase of conventional mono-Si and mono-Si PERC cells from top-tier vertical integration companies after the 630 period, and due to the fact that mono-Si and multi-Si cells still have a large price gap, module makers expect large room for price decrease in mono-Si cells in the future. Under this condition, the buying momentum remains conservative, leading to low sales volume. Therefore, prices for mono-Si cell products continued to go down, coming to RMB 1.2-1.3/W for mono-Si PERC in Chinese market, and US$ 0.18 – 0.185/W in non-Chinese markets. Conventional mono-Si prices plummet to RMB 1.1-1.12/W in Chinese market, and US$ 0.155-0.16 in non-Chinese markets.
Orders for multi-Si cells from non-Chinese markets have risen thanks to high C/P ration for multi-Si products. And seeing worse demand for mono-Si products, several manufacturers have begun converting mono-Si production lines to multi-Si ones. Further, like in the wafer segment, the cell segment has seen slight price increase from some of the orders. However, with the rapid downturn in mono-Si products, conventional mono-Si cell prices have begun leaning toward those of multi-Si cells. Considering the future tug-of-war situation in C/P ratios, multi-Si cell prices are unlikely to fluctuate in the near future.
Module prices are plummeting in all markets worldwide. Following the end of the 630 period, a large amount of module capacity formerly for Chinese market is now looking for demands from non-Chinese markets. This has caused a downtrend in markets without trading tariffs; even markets with trading tariffs like US and Europe have seen significant decreases because top-tier manufacturers with capacities in south-east Asia are managing to secure orders. Compared to the prices in early June, the European markets, formerly an indicator of high prices, had the largest decrease. The US market, with a 30% tariff from the Section 201, have also seen apparent downturn.
Looking at Q3, the Chinese market only has support from the Top Runner Program and poverty alleviation projects. Further, non-Chinese markets remain steady demands, and are therefore unable to fill China’s urgent need for demand. To conclude, module prices will have difficulties growing in Q3.