This week’s polysilicon prices for mono-Si wafers rose by RMB 1/kg, arriving at RMB 59–61/kg in the market and averaging RMB 60/kg. While a few manufacturers are still filling orders from June, most have signed orders for July. With mono-Si wafer prices having declined persistently, Tier-2 and 3 mono-Si wafer makers are on the brink of the break-even point or generating paltry profits.
Upstream producers are keen to raise prices, despite their downstream customers’ expectations for lower prices. Meanwhile, as mono-Si wafer prices are on the decline, price hikes in polysilicon for mono-Si wafers is limited. Buyers and sellers will determine how the prices will turn out in the market.
Polysilicon prices for multi-Si wafers climbed by RMB 3/kg this week to RMB 31–33/kg and an average of RMB 32/kg, as end-market demand was picking up while polysilicon for multi-Si wafers was shrinking in supply following producers’ shift to produce more mono-grade polysilicon.
Mono-Si wafer prices trended downward throughout the second quarter of this year as the COVID-19 pandemic depressed end-market demand and the wafers were provided more than necessary. Tier-1 makers’ July prices for mono-Si wafers, announced last week, were almost consistent with those in June.
However, mono-Si wafers are offered to downstream customers at a discount that varies depending on how many wafers they order. So, the market price for mono-SI wafers keeps going down. Mono-Si wafer prices declined this week to RMB 2.26–2.42/piece for G1 and RMB 2.42–2.51/piece for M6 in China and USD 0.297–0.306/piece for G1 and USD 0.312–0.317/piece for M6 in overseas markets.
Multi-Si wafer prices increased fractionally this week to RMB 1.08–1.15/piece in the market and an average of RMB 1.12/piece, as end-market demand was recovering but operating producers were running at low capacity and the wafers were tight in supply. Moreover, when India lifts its lockdown, end-market demand for multi products is likely to improve further, allowing multi-Si wafer prices to climb for a short period of time.
In the run-up to the Chinese Dragon Boat Festival, Tier-1 maker Tongwei announced its price for mono-Si cells, which remains constant. It appears that mono-Si cell prices will hold up for a short while as some delayed projects from June 30 installation boom that are being installed in early July will help increase orders for the cells.
This week’s mono-Si cell prices averaged RMB 0.79–0.8/W for G1—with a growing number of deals clinched at RMB 0.8/W—and RMB 0.8/W for M6. In overseas markets, the prices stayed at USD 0.1–0.102/W. After mid-July, the price for G1-sized cells may decline slowly, whereas that for M6-sized cells may remain stable because of its relatively higher demand. Therefore, the price gap will widen between G1 and M6 cells in the second half of this year, when competition for higher wattage is expected to intensify.
The price for M2 cells rose marginally this week to RMB 0.82–0.83/W and an average of RMB 0.87/W at the high-priced end. The price has reached its peak and will decline slowly as the June 30 installation boom winds down.
Although multi-Si wafer prices increased by RMB 0.02/piece, multi-Si cell prices went down this week to RMB 2.2–2.25/piece because transactions were conducted by cash or through third-party payment processors amid the instability going on at the borders and ports of India. The instability issues in India has further undermined domestic demand for multi products, prompting multi-Si cell prices to continue to drop.
With some projects from the June 30 installation boom postponed for grid connection until July and August and foreign demand picking up, high module stocks for overseas markets are being reduced. So, Tier-1 manufacturers will be operating at high capacity throughout July and at good operating level in early August.
Moreover, China, whose annual module demand is projected at 40–45 GW, will comprise the lion’s share of this year’s global module demand. However, because manufacturers have been expanding their production capacity in response to rapid shift in wafer sizes, module will witness supply surplus in the second half of this year, causing price quotes to go further down.