Polysilicon prices for mono-Si wafers stayed at high levels this week, traded at RMB 93–96/kg and RMB 94/kg on average. While major producers are executing their contracts to make deliveries now, there are some deals being negotiated, with the prices quoted by some Tier-1 makers lower than the previous week, indicating that upcoming orders can be negotiated. This means that the supply/demand gap is narrowing.
Meanwhile, because most Tier-1 makers of mono-Si wafers saw their polysilicon stock dwindle ahead of the National Day holiday, they started to negotiate new orders for polysilicon this week. Overall, polysilicon supply will increase in September compared to August as producers are resuming operation one after another. Yet, since there remains a small polysilicon shortage and ingot-pulling furnaces are running at full capacity, polysilicon prices for mono-Si wafers will fall only at a modest pace for a short period of time. And although price negotiations persist, some Tier-1 makers may clinch new deals by the end of this year, thus settling down polysilicon prices for mono-Si wafers.
Polysilicon prices for multi-Si wafers were consistent this week with their previous levels, traded at RMB 65–69/kg and RMB 67/kg on average. The prices are not going to show any noticeable change within a period of time because of multi-grade polysilicon shortage and stable multi-Si wafer prices.
In non-Chinese markets, polysilicon prices remained stable this week at USD 10.2–10.7/kg for mono-Si wafers and RMB 7.2–7.7/kg for multi-Si wafers because only a handful of deals were struck. After all, prices for new polysilicon orders in China were variable, some Tier-1 Chinese producers were executing their contracts, and wafer producers were less willing to procure polysilicon when there was no discount.
With polysilicon prices having remained stable for several weeks, mono-Si wafer prices had been going steady. This week, the market price for mono-Si wafers hovered at RMB 3–3.08/piece for G1 and RMB 3.15–3.23/piece for M6 in China and USD 0.386–0.392/piece for G1 and USD 0.405–0.411/piece for M6 in non-Chinese markets. But since mono-Si cell prices dropped recently, some Tier-2 cell makers put downward price pressure on Tier-1 mono-Si wafer makers. Having said that, mono-Si wafer prices stay unchanged in the market. If the upcoming polysilicon deals are clinched at constant prices, Tier-1 maker Longi’s October pricings for mono-Si wafers will essentially be consistent with their previous levels.
With mono-grade polysilicon and mono-Si wafer prices having been stable these days, multi-Si wafer prices had been constant for a month or so. This week, multi-Si wafer prices, whether in China or abroad, were almost consistent with their previous levels. They stayed at RMB 1.55–1.65/piece in China and USD 0.203–0.215/piece in foreign markets. While polysilicon producers are resuming operation, they are producing multi-grade polysilicon in limited volumes.
Moreover, multi demand is shrinking in India, where the COVID-19 pandemic continues to prevail, and traders that have piled up multi-Si wafers are having an impact on the wafer market. Against this backdrop, multi-Si wafer prices are falling fractionally. If the profitability of multi-Si wafers is further diminished one way or another, producers may have to reduce their utilization rates and how far they will do so depends on their capability to withstand price decline.
Mono-Si cell prices stabilized this week, sustaining smaller decline thanks to stable demand. The price for G1 cells held up at RMB 0.86–0.88/W and at RMB 0.83–0.84/W for the low-priced end; it recovered marginally to RMB 0.85–0.86/W from the previous level. The price for M6 cells stayed at RMB 0.92–0.93/W as producers stick with their prices, taking into account healthy demand for the second half of this year. Mono-Si cell prices may remain stable until the end of September, but they will resume slow downward trend in October and November—when new production lines are up and running.
Mono-Si cell prices in non-Chinese markets were hit by decreases in their Chinese equivalents, although the impact was cushioned by a weaker dollar. This week, the prices stayed at USD 0.113–0.114/W for G1 and USD 0.119–0.12/W for M6.
This week, multi-Si cell prices stayed at their previous levels of RMB 2.6–2.65/piece, with costs remaining persistently high. Yet, as the COVID-19 pandemic is still prevailing in India—where multi products are dominant—multi-Si cell producers are receiving fewer orders. So, since demand for multi-Si cells is shrinking and their prices can hardly decline, multi-Si cell producers will exert growing pressure upstream.
With prices for polysilicon, wafers, and cells having recently stabilized, module prices reached their upper limits between the end of August and early September. Developers of utility-scale PV projects in China are negotiating prices with module makers recently; the price for mono PERC modules featuring M6 wafers seems to stay at RMB 1.58–1.6/W for a short period of time, but it shows signs of decreasing. Indeed, module prices in China will decline fractionally in Q4, when demand will be lower than predicted.
Some module makers are going to see modest business in non-Chinese markets between Q4 and early next, but they remain serious about offering price quotes. Most module orders to be delivered in Q1 next year are invariably quoted at USD 0.2/W and above.