So far in August, China’s poly makers have been expanding their scales of maintenance. As a result, this week’s multi-Si wafer use became slightly tense, with the price in China increasing by a small margin. For mono-Si wafer use, despite the weakening of pull-in force, prices remained steady due to low inventory.
For non-Chinese markets, the overall poly price increased by almost 3% due to the constantly growing prices in China. Despite low consensus between the buyers and sellers, most orders were still completed at US$ 10.5/kg; lower poly prices have disappeared.
The wafer segment maintained its average price, but the highest and lowest prices changed. For mono-Si wafers, Zhonghuan announced RMB 3.16/pc for 180μm conventional mono-Si wafers, 3.23/pc for low-resistance mono-Si wafers, and 3.28/pc for high-efficiency low-resistance mono-Si wafers. Other wafer makers had difficulties to keeping up with Longi’s prices, so the recent mono-Si wafer price have turned consistent; fluctuations are unlikely in the near future.
For multi-Si wafers, despite reduced prices of mono-Si wafers, the consistent market demand still led to the slight growth of the lowest price. Longi’s “significant” price cut in late July helped mono-Si and multi-Si wafers maintain a price gap of RMB 0.65/pc and US$ 0.08/pc, the smallest difference of all time. Mid- and downstream product trends have been gradually changing. Multi-Si wafers will start to feel a price pressure in late August.
China’s mono-Si cell prices mostly fell at RMB 1 – 1.02/pc this week, already lower than the RMB 1.02 – 1.05/pc for multi-Si cells. The situation where “mono-Si lower than multi-Si” has also begun affecting orders in August; multi-Si cells have started weakening. In the near future, multi-Si will continue to go down to maintain order volume.
For non-Chinese cells, due to the smaller number of mono-Si cell makers, the prices were able to stay consistent. On the contrary, multi-Si cells were affected by India’s safeguard measures. Taiwanese multi-Si cell prices have weakened, falling to US$ 0.132 – 0.135/W recently. Duty-free like Thailand immediately increased to the recent US$ 0.14/W.
New capacities of PERC cells have been gradually released, leading to constantly weakening quotes. Adequate support for PERC cell orders will not arrive until China’s Top Runner Program kicks off.
Terminal markets have grown accustomed to the longtime tug of war between mono-Si and multi-Si wafers, able to make faster adjustments according to the C/P ratio. This has led to shorter transition periods between mono-Si and multi-Si.
Further, with India’s safeguard duty kicking off, India’s market prices are still in a see-saw affair between the buyers and sellers. Demands have turned conservative, lowering the popularity of multi-Si modules.
Looking at the future, the demand from the Top Runner Program will gradually increase in late August, when the price gap between 60-cell 310W mono-Si PERC modules (above) and 60-cell 300W mono-Si modules will become more apparent. As a result, the price of 300W modules continue to decrease in the future.