Compared with their previous levels, China’s polysilicon prices for mono-Si and multi-Si wafers did not change much this week. The polysilicon price stayed at RMB 73/kg for mono-Si wafers and RMB 53/kg for multi-Si wafers. Both high-priced and low-priced polysilicon for multi-Si wafers sustained small price decreases. Most multi-Si wafer producers buy polysilicon for multi-Si wafers mixing with lower-grade materials now to reduce their polysilicon expenses and aligning their wafer costs as closely as possible in line with the market price.
Market demand varies between polysilicon for mono-Si wafer and that for multi-Si wafer, with a wide price gap of RMB 20/kg persisting until the end of this year. Producers of both mono-Si and multi-Si wafers have mostly signed polysilicon deals for January next year and stock up polysilicon for multi-Si wafers in time for production during the Chinese New Year holidays.
So, polysilicon prices for mono-Si and multi-Si wafers would remain stable in the run-up to the holidays. Polysilicon makers now feel less stressful to deliver shipments. On the supply side of analysis, polysilicon supply would remain generally stable during the first half of 2020, with new capacity due to come online in Q3.
Producers who mostly make polysilicon for multi-Si wafer are operating at a serious deficit. If the polysilicon price for multi-Si wafers continues to fall and remains stagnant in the first half of 2020, many of these producers would either reduce their production volumes or even shut down.
Overseas polysilicon prices, which are largely subject to their Chinese equivalents, fell by USD 0.1/kg for mono-Si and multi-Si wafers this week amid small changes in exchange rates. This week’s overseas polysilicon price averaged USD 8.4/kg for mono-Si wafers and USD 6.7/kg for multi-Si wafers.
China’s multi-Si wafer price continued its decline into this week, albeit to a decreasing extent; it came in at RMB 1.53–1.58/piece. This week’s overseas multi-Si wafer market price dropped to USD 0.216–0.22/piece and averaged USD 0.218/piece, as some producers were filling old orders. Starting next week, multi-Si wafer makers are going to sign deals for January next year.
As the Chinese multi-Si wafer price keeps falling, its overseas equivalent may respond in kind next year, reaching an average of USD 0.215/piece or lower. Hit by ballooning deficits, multi-Si wafer makers previously in operation would leave the market one after another, driving down next year’s multi-Si wafer production capacity to under 30 GW.
This week, Tier-1 mono-Si wafer makers published their list prices for January next year, which are consistent with their December’s list prices. The market price for mono-Si wafers hovered at RMB 2.95–3.06/piece. With mono-Si wafer prices published for January next year, cell makers this week negotiated prices and the number of pieces they would need to achieve stable cell production throughout the Chinese New Year holidays. As mono-Si wafers are running short in supply, strong demand for the wafers would hold up beyond the Chinese New Year holidays.
Cell orders were clinched this week. Demand for mono-Si cells would continue into January next year, so there has been no price change for PERC cells of different sizes: RMB 0.95/W for mono PERC cells made from M2 wafers and RMB 0.98/W for those made from G1 wafers. Overseas mono PERC prices maintained their previous levels.
India had a less-busy-than-predicted period at the end of this year as the safeguard duty will be further reduced in January next year. So, multi-Si cell prices are still struggling to climb amid module makers’ high expectations for price reduction. Most module makers only accept an offer price lower than RMB 0.6/W for multi-Si cell this week. The market price for multi-Si cells was RMB 2.75/piece. The low multi-Si cell price in China also caused its overseas equivalent to decline this week.
As things still remain uncertain about next year’s policy for subsidized PV projects in China, module prices would not fare well in the first half of 2020. Bid prices for Chinese modules to be delivered early next year are trending downward, with the multi-Si module price indicating the price decreases seen in the up-and midstream sectors of the supply chain and having plunged to RMB 1.5/W and even lower levels. Mono-Si modules enjoy healthy demand but sustain continued price decline as they would see weak demand in the first half of next year. There is also demand for higher power output from end-market.
This week, PV glass did not sustain any marked price change but is running short in supply. As PV glass would be hit by a relatively severe shortage in the supply chain next year, module makers have increasingly conducted further investigations into the thickness of module glass.