This week, Chinese and foreign polysilicon prices were stable. While China’s polysilicon prices fluctuated a bit this week, the fluctuations mostly occurred within the same range as in the previous week.
By contrast, supply and demand for polysilicon will likely remain balanced throughout August. Speaking of changes in polysilicon prices for overseas markets, the higher-price group posted slight decreases amid considerable currency fluctuations, which exerted an influence on price quotes in the market. As overseas markets show stable demand for polysilicon, foreign polysilicon prices may stabilize if no substantial change occurs in currency exchange rates in the near term.
The price decline came to an end this week for multi-Si wafers. While some of them came in lower than RMB 1.8/piece, the market price in China stabilized, with top producers offering the same prices in line with those from the previous week. Wafer prices for overseas markets did not change much because they are negotiated once a month. However, overseas wafer prices set through the recent signing of some orders are expected to stay below the average and hover at USD 0.24–0.245/piece, with the low price showing a slight decrease.
Multi-Si wafer producers will likely maintain the same output levels in August as in July. With much of the cell sector due to shift its production focus from the mono-Si to multi-Si type, the downward trend in the multi-Si wafer price will likely decelerate. Yet, multi-Si cell prices show a small decrease, and whether that decrease will exert pressure on wafer prices cannot be determined until late in August.
The undersupply of mono-Si wafers has eased across the market after several cell makers shifted their production focus from the mono-Si to multi-Si type and inventories piled up in the cell sector. While there are adequate mono-Si wafer orders in August, any slight change in the number of such orders—if it ever occurs—may affect the pricing of mono-Si wafers in September.
Cast-mono supply grows in August. The current market price of 158.75mm cast mono maintains its previous level at RMB 2.85–2.9/piece in China and USD 0.37–0.375/piece for overseas markets.
This week saw PERC cells sold mostly for a market price of RMB 0.9–0.92/W, which reached the break-even point for older PERC production lines and therefore prompted a prediction of PERC cell prices coming close to the low point for 2019 and barely trending further downward. Meanwhile, foreign cell prices declined amid substantial fluctuations in the USD/RMB exchange rate, ranging widely between USD 0.122/W and 0.126/W. Considering the impact of China exchange rate drop, cell prices are forecast to keep weakening for overseas markets.
Cell producers quoted the same price for both single-sided and bifacial PERC cells. However, because bifacial PERC cells were supplied largely by top-tier makers, the average market price was slightly higher than that of single-sided cells. This price difference, however, was a short-term outcome of the rapid decline in the market prices of both types of PERC cells; standard and bifacial cells will continue to share the same price when the price change slowed down.
Multi-Si cell prices fell slightly this week to RMB 0.81–0.82/W as some producers recently shifted their production focus from the mono-Si to multi-Si type, thereby raising the availability of the latter. Yet, with the number of multi-Si cell orders stabilizing and multi-Si wafer prices showing no further decrease on the upstream side, China’s multi-Si cell prices are expected to hit bottom. For overseas markets, multi-Si cell prices came in at USD 0.106–0.107/W. Meanwhile, India, a critical overseas market for Chinese multi-Si cell producers, recently lowered its safeguard duty from 25% to 20%, causing the multi-Si cell price to decline somewhat in third countries.
Chinese demand for modules did not show any sign of recovery in early August. Yet, with the number of procurement for solar projects expected to grow late in the month, the increase in module demand may fall short of the expected level early in September, although the market will likely make its way into this year’s peak season after mid-September.
By then, domestic demand will be recovering fast and overseas demand will become stronger than in July or August. Therefore, Q4 will likely see the strongest module demand of the current year. Impacted by the recent price downtrend across the supply chain, module prices have declined substantially, and in respond, manufacturers lowered their foreign prices for mono PERC modules at a steady rate.