Due to an increase in overseas stock, polysilicon for multi-Si wafers saw a slight decline in prices this week, while market prices in China were temporarily stabilized as many companies had to conduct maintenance or were planning to do so. Therefore, polysilicon prices basically remained stable in China and overseas this week.
Polysilicon supplies were significantly reduced by 10%-15% because Yongxiang needs time to resume production owing to the accident and GCL Silicon is expecting to conduct maintenance in mid May. However, due to weaker demand and accumulated stocks from the previous weeks, average market price remained at last week’s levels despite a higher quote in price.
Top-tier manufacturers set quotes at above RMB 60/kg for polysilicon for multi-Si wafers, while quotation of polysilicon for mono-Si wafers stayed flat at RMB 74/kg. Based on the information given, manufacturers including Combo, Yongxiang, GCL Silicon, and DL Silicon will lower productions in April and May.
Only the overseas multi-Si wafer market is undergoing price movement this week, with prices dropping 1.2% to USD 0.26/piece. Following the higher price stability of polysilicon, multi-Si wafer prices are likely to remain at previous levels and are less likely to decline further. Meanwhile, market price of Chinese multi-Si wafers averaged RMB 1.85-1.93/piece.
The level of demand still mainly affects wafer price trend. Since it takes time to put policy into action, demand will remain weak in May after China announces the new policy in late April. Therefore, prices are expected to stay flat or slightly decline. As for mono-Si wafer, prices in China and overseas remained at last week’s levels. After next week, the two leading companies are likely to announce prices for May.
According to the consultation document released by the NEA last week, Chinese demand is expected to rebound in July. Meanwhile, the PV market will witness the weakest demand in May and June this year as anticipated.
Demand in May will be slightly lower than April, particularly for the multi-Si market. Thanks to the continuous increase in overseas mono-Si product demand, mono-Si PERC makers are expecting to maintain balanced supply and demand relationship in May. Due to the low season in April, mono-Si PERC cell prices fell to USD 0.175/W recently in Taiwan.
Buyers and sellers will be negotiating new prices next week. With high order visibility, prices of mono-Si PERC cells are likely to remain stable, allowing the bottom price this year to be higher than anticipated. Prices of conventional multi-Si cells, on the other hand, are expected to decline further following the weaker demand.
Although a rebound in Chinese demand will not occur until July, the PV market has gained confidence after China confirmed the policy direction. Despite approaching of low season, module prices are not likely to change significantly when an increase of demand is expected in July.
Looking ahead, cell and module makers will start to adjust production lines during the low season in order to improve module output and match the increasing need for wafers of 158.75mm (G1) size. More and more manufacturers are expected to switch production lines to fit G1 wafers in Q3, leading to much higher shipment in Q4.