In this week, the polysilicon price saw a slight adjustment, as mainstream price leaned towards last week’s bottom price, which, however, did not have further decrease; the polysilicon price will remain stable in the near future. Also, the signing times of orders for polysilicon in November will scatter throughout the month. Currently, the multi-Si wafer use in China averages at RMB 75/kg, and mono-Si wafer use comes to RMB 83/kg.
China’s anti-dumping and countervailing measures against Europe has been suspended since November 1, making Wacker’s MIP agreement within China government no longer exist. And although Wacker may not choose to take the dumping approach to cut down the price, the traders with inventories are still likely to cut down the price in order to cash in, resulting in an uncertain price trend.
For non-Chinese polysilicon prices, few orders were made due to the lack of consensus between the buyers and the sellers. The average price came to US$ 9/kg.
Slight adjustments were seen in both mono-Si and multi-Si wafer prices, as multi-Si wafers averaged RMB 2.1/pc in China. The lower price of multi-Si wafers is not only a result from the price decrease of polysilicon, but also from the insufficient demand.
Generally speaking, the multi-Si segment is seeing another low month in November; even the price for non-Chinese multi-Si wafers continues to go south. However, due to the low trading volume in non-Chinese markets, there is still a price difference between non-Chinese and Chinese multi-Si wafers, yet the non-Chinese price is estimated to keep leaning towards the Chinese price.
For mono-Si wafers, the final price of each company is different from one another due to difference in purchase volumes; therefore, announced prices are of little use for the time being. Here are this week’s prices for mono-Si low-resistance wafers: most mono-Si wafer makers averaged at RMB 3.05/pc, with the highest price being RMB 3.1/pc and the lowest RMB 3/pc. Prices lower than RMB 3/pc were spotted, but the higher demand in November and steady supply of mono-Si wafers make it unlikely to see another price cut in the near future.
The short supply of PERC cells is unlikely to be mended in early November. Therefore, mono-Si PERC cells were not affected by the price cut of wafers, going up by RMB 0.02/W instead. Mono-Si PERC cells with regular efficiency m have increased to RMB 1.12-1.16/W, and non-Chinese ones remains steady at US$ 0.145-0.146/W.
For high-efficiency cells, demanded by the Top Runner Program, bi-facial PERC cells with conversion rates above 21.5% remain consistent in price as last week, at RMB 1.25/W. Single-side PERC cells with conversion rates above 21.5% had another price increase, averaging RMB 1.16-1.2/W.
In both non-Chinese and Chinese markets, the demand for most mono-Si PERC cells with regular conversion rates concentrates before the end of 2018. Therefore, the demand for these PERC cells can begin to weaken in December, and the price is nearing the highest point.
The demand for multi-Si products continues to weaken, as it appears to be lower than the demand in October. Further, the demand in December could be lower than that in November. As a result, the price trend is currently in a weaker position; second-tier and third-tier companies have all reduced their utilization rate of multi-Si in November.
In Q4, China has support from the Top Runner Program, and a slight help from the poverty alleviation program and DG systems, so the domestic demand seems promising. Further, Chinese capacities, with lower costs, can now export directly to Europe, which used to rely on Southeast Asian capacities. This has made Q4 utilization rates of Chinese top- and second-tier companies higher than expectation. However, the utilization rate of overseas modules is lower, so the prices of all types of modules in China currently appear steady; prices for overseas modules continues decreasing.
Generally speaking, the market situation in November is similar to that in October. In December, when the peak installation period in all markets ends, the overall module orders can begin to weaken as an outpost of a harsher industry trend in Q1 2019. Thus, the balance between orders and inventories is particularly important at the end of this year.