This week’s poly market was low in trading volume. Although some wafer makers chose to reduce utilization rates in hopes that the poly price would decrease, this week’s strike price still remained consistent with the previous week; the tug-of-war affair between prices is still ongoing. The mono-Si wafer use averaged RMB 90/kg. Because the supply of mono-Si wafer use has been higher than that of multi-Si wafer use, the sufficient supply can lead to another decrease in the mono-Si wafer use price, hence the ongoing downtrend.
For multi-Si wafer use, despite a certain level of price difference between Chinese and non-Chinese products, the overall price remained consistent. Further, the multi-Si wafer use currently has a balanced supply and demand, so no significant impact has shown since wafer makers reduced their utilization rates. Apparent downturn in multi-Si wafer use price are more likely to happen in one or two weeks from now. The non-Chinese poly market was once again stuck in a rut; as non-Chinese wafer makers were low in utilization rates. Although sellers lowered their quotes, the actual trading volume was scarce. The sellers have felt pressure in inventories, so the price trend is prone to the buyer’s expectation, heading towards US$ 10/kg in the future.
This week’s multi-Si wafer price continued to fall, as the average strike price came to RMB 2.25/pc in the Chinese market, US$ 0.305/pc in non-Chinese markets. With the constantly decreasing cell prices in downstream segments, further adjustments are estimated in wafer prices next week. Currently, as the multi-Si wafer use price remained consistent in price, and the wafer prices continue to go down, some multi-Si wafer makers have made adjustments of utilization rates since this week. In the second half of September, the demand for multi-Si wafers can further weaken.
In non-Chinese markets, the wafer prices have seen adjustments since this week as well; an average price of US$ 0.3/pc and above is maintained, and the price of US$ 0.3/pc is also supported in the short run. Taiwan’s multi-Si wafer makers continued to reduce their productions, averaging at 30% in utilization rates. For mono-Si wafers, prices remained at previous levels.
The demand from China’s Top Runner Program has been on a rise since the start of September. In the program, the P-type mono-Si PERC modules concentrate on the on the 310W. This has led to a slightly tense supply in high-efficiency cells with conversion efficiencies above 21.5%, resulting in a price rebound; the average price went from RMB 1.1/W in last week to this week’s RMB 1.13/W. Strike prices of RMB 1.15/W have been recorded. Therefore, the P-type mono-Si PERC cells is currently the only cell segment seeing a price rebound.
The demand for general mono-Si PERC cells with efficiencies between 21.2-21.4% remained consistent. However, companies’ trying to produce more cells with efficiencies of 21.5% or above will lead to high supply of cells with 21.2-21.4% efficiencies, hence an unpromising price trend.
Currently non-Chinese mono-Si PERC cells range from US$ 0.14 to 0.145/W. However, with higher costs, Taiwanese companies have difficulties leaning towards the current market price; quotes remained at US$ 0.16/W and almost no orders were settled.
Demand for multi-Si cells remained low this week. Cells with efficiencies of 18.6% and above averaged RMB 0.9-0.93/W; however, top-tier companies’ purchase prices mostly targeted at RMB 0.88/W. Such purchase price has been seen, as the inventory of multi-Si cells is at a higher level. Further, in the short run, demand for multi-Si cells is unlikely to bounce back. Further price cuts are possible, and such a downtrend will also lead to decreases in upstream prices.
India’s demand is currently uncertain, resulting in weak demand for multi-Si modules. Module price trend stays in a downtrend.
For mono-Si modules, the Top Runner Program has led to an increase in the demand for 60-cell 310W modules. This has helped improve the popularity of higher-efficiency modules. Some orders in Q4 or next year have also demanded for 310W modules. In a situation where high-efficiency cells are on a rise, the 310W modules will tense up in supply, leading to a larger price gap between 300W and 305W.