As low end-market demand for multi-Si products continued to persist, the polysilicon price for multi-Si wafers dropped by RMB 1/kg this week. To minimize their deficits from wafer production, some cast mono producers have increasingly reduced their utilization rates and even shut down, aggravating the pressure on polysilicon makers, who are already hit by low inventories, to cut their polysilicon prices. So, the polysilicon price for multi-Si wafers decreased to RMB 58/kg, with some Tier-2 makers offering lower quotes, in response to the expectation for price reduction raised by the downstream customers in the supply chain in early December.
Yet, there is not much improvement in demand for polysilicon for multi-Si wafers despite the price reduction. With cast mono makers anticipating a further price decline, weak demand hit the persistently low polysilicon price for multi-Si wafers this week, much as it did in the previous week. The polysilicon price for multi-Si wafers would decline by RMB 1–2/kg next week.
The polysilicon price for mono-Si wafers stabilized this week on the strength of the announcement of list prices for December, coming in at RMB 73/kg. However, it may decrease by RMB 1–2/kg, because the supply of polysilicon for mono-Si wafers has increased slightly since polysilicon makers previously under maintenance resumed production and brought new capacity online, and up- and downstream producers entertain the idea of limiting their inventories by the end of this year.
For overseas markets, the polysilicon price for mono-Si wafers dropped marginally by USD 0.1/kg this week amid slight exchange-rate variations. The polysilicon price for multi-Si wafers declined along with its Chinese equivalent, which has been on the decrease. The supply of polysilicon for mono-Si and multi-Si wafers has remained stable since December, when a Chinese producer shut down and Daqo New Energy began to bring new capacity online.
Multi-Si wafer prices declined to RMB 1.65–1.7/piece across the wafer segment, whereas the trading price for the wafer fell to under RMB 1.7/kg. Multi-Si wafer producers that were operating at full capacity in the previous week feel a growing pressure to deliver orders. Even though the multi-Si wafer price has decreased as a result of weak demand, multi-Si cell makers are operating at a deficit. So, some operating producers have taken to developing mid-efficiency products, in order to maintain their utilization rates at certain levels and reduce costs.
As polysilicon prices for multi-Si wafer is on the decrease, multi-Si wafer prices could decline further by the end of this year. Hit by the continued decrease in its Chinese equivalent, overseas multi-Si wafer prices fell to USD 0.219–0.223/piece this week. The Chinese mono-Si wafer prices did not show much variation this week, with the market price for the wafer being RMB 2.95–3.06/piece. On the supply side, a Tier-1 maker’s production volume of wafers declined by around 40 million pieces in December after its slicing machines were hobbled by electricity rationing imposed at the end of November. Hit by a shortage, the mono-Si wafer price could stabilize at RMB 3.06/piece and small-sized producers may raise their mono-Si wafer prices.
Current cell prices have broken even for many producers. Multi-Si cells still sustain price decrease, with their market price coming in at RMB 2.85–2.9/piece or RMB 0.62/W this week and even lower levels. Tier-1 multi-Si cell makers running at full capacity still have bulged inventories to shrink; however, they struggle to do so because multi-Si demand remains stagnant and multi-Si prices is still on the decrease.
Persistently low multi-Si cell prices in China continue to take their toll abroad, with their overseas trading price coming in at around USD 0.08/W or slightly lower levels this week. Similarly, multi-Si cell prices of capacities in Southeast Asia fell under USD 0.1/W.
Meanwhile, strong demand for mono products across the supply chain allowed the price for mono PERC cells to climb in China to RMB 0.95/W but retain its previous level in overseas markets.
As far as the solar projects assigned through recent auctions are concerned, multi-Si module prices continued its decline this week: the market price for the module came in at RMB 1.58–1.65/W and keeps falling. The continued decrease in China’s multi-Si module price has penetrated abroad, causing the overseas multi-Si module price to trend downward.
The price for mono PERC modules stabilized in China. The overseas mono PERC module price was depressed by a less-busy-than-expected Q4, with module producers undercutting each other by offering lower price quotes for the first half of 2020.