Polysilicon prices for mono- and multi-Si wafer stayed unchanged this week. There were a few small orders being signed, while large orders are still under negotiation. It’s expected that price trend will become clear next week. Operating wafer manufacturers that still have enough polysilicon stock are bidding their time. This week, polysilicon prices for mono-Si wafer came in at RMB 72-75/kg and RMB 42-45/kg for that for multi-Si wafer.
Impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic that continues to spread overseas, the timing of anticipated demand in Q2 will delay. Polysilicon prices for new orders are predicted to drop by RMB 1/kg or even lower due to weakening demand and a downward trend in prices for April published by Tier-1 mono-Si wafer manufacturers.
For overseas markets, prices are subject to the movement in China. With stable exchange rate and low volume of orders clinched, foreign polysilicon prices for mono- and multi-Si wafer remained stable, sitting at an average of USD 8.3/kg and USD 6.7/kg, respectively.
Although the pandemic is gradually curbed in China and the supply chain operation is returning to normal, end-user demand is declining continuously thanks to the ripple effect of the COVID-19. With multi-Si cell and module prices decreasing further, multi-Si wafer prices declined to RMB 1.3-1.45/piece this week and averaged at RMB 1.4/piece.
As Chinese prices continue to drop, trading prices for new overseas orders for multi-Si wafer that are being signed this week also declined to USD 0.190-0.195/piece. In the face of sluggish demand, multi-Si wafer manufacturers may cut production or even shut down in response, and this will ease the unbalanced supply and demand of multi-Si wafers.
After Longi and Zhonghuan Solar published their prices for April, mono-Si wafer prices have been stable. Prices for M2 and G1 wafers respectively sit at RMB 2.9-3.03/piece and RMB 3.22-3.3/piece for the Chinese market; USD 0.376-0.387/piece and USD 0.41-0.418/piece for overseas markets. Mono-Si wafer manufacturers are expected to operate at nearly 100% of capacity in April.
However, delays in overseas demand in Q2 has weakened prices across the supply chain. So, utilization rates are likely to be affected once demand level becomes certain. For now, mono-Si wafer manufacturers that can produce gallium-doped wafers with stable yield rate or hold patent on such products are predicted to grow amid weak demand in Q2.
This week saw continued decline in mono PERC cell prices. As M2-sized cells prices have almost reached the break-even point, the prices sustained less decline, with the average prices falling to RMB 0.84-0.85/W and RMB 0.8/W for the low point. G1-sized cell prices slumped this week due to a delay in overseas demand, with the average price coming in at RMB 0.88-0.90/W.
As the module segment is pressing prices downwardly and inventory of M2-sized mono cells is piling up on weakened demand, cell manufacturers are selling products at a bargain price. The market also saw G1-sized cells hitting at a low point of RMB 0.85/W. With overseas demand declining continuously, the downward trend in mono-Si cells will persist for the short term, and this will narrow the price gap between M2 and G1-sized cells. It’s expected that the prices for the two cells will reach the same level earlier than anticipated.
On the multi-Si cell side, the order volume of such cells shrank this week due to coronavirus lockdown in India. As a result, multi-Si cell prices dropped to RMB 2.6-2.65/piece, whereas prices for overseas markets remained unchanged because no order has been signed. As demand is predicted to remain sluggish, prices will fall continuously for the short term.
The overseas market is now clouded by pessimism as the pandemic continues to escalate. Demand in many markets, especially India and Europe that are hit hard by the outbreak, is now feeling increasingly negative impact from the COVID-19, with module segment saw buyers postpone or even cancel orders at the end of March.
As orders for April have mostly been signed, the order volume for May will be lower compared to this month. Tier-1 module manufacturers have not only canceled orders for outsourcing but reduced utilization rates. Moreover, prices for cell and module bill of material dropped further this week.
It’s hard to predict how the pandemic will develop, but it’s certain that overseas demand will slow and the slack during Q2-Q3 will lead to another decline in module prices. This downward trend will then hit the U.S. market, where module prices have remained high.
Module manufacturers have been pressing down PV glass prices due to delayed installation and cancellation or postponed orders in overseas markets amid the pandemic. As a result, PV glass segment saw price movement this month, with prices dropping by RMB 1/piece for orders signed for April and the average prices came in at RMB 28/m2 or even lower.
PV glass prices will be hit by weakening demand for the short term. The market saw large manufacturer reducing prices to RMB 26, and this downward trend will continue for a while.