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Updated September 23, 2020

Polysilicon

To stock up on mono-grade polysilicon ahead of China’s National Day holiday and fill up the dwindling polysilicon inventory, some mono-Si wafer makers have booked orders for October, which they also did last week. Yet, a few Tier-1 mono-Si wafer makers are still bargaining over polysilicon prices. Meanwhile, since most polysilicon producers are maintaining adequate stocks and are thus keen to stick with high prices, polysilicon prices for mono-Si wafers remain stable this week, staying at RMB 93–96/kg in the market and RMB 94/kg on average.

On the whole, as polysilicon deals for October are being clinched and polysilicon producers are reopening, polysilicon supply is picking up. But because the overall polysilicon supply still falls short of demand and most mono-Si wafer makers are running at full capacity, polysilicon prices for mono-Si wafers will not fall sharply and quickly after the holiday. 

Polysilicon prices for multi-Si wafers are consistent this week with their previous levels, hovering at RMB 65–69/kg in the market and RMB 67/kg on average. With stable multi demand, consistent multi-Si wafer prices, and multi-grade polysilicon shortage, polysilicon prices for multi-Si wafers will remain stable before the National Day takes place on Oct. 1.

Negotiations over new polysilicon deals for customers in non-Chinese markets are expected to take place after the National Day. Without any desirable discount, not much polysilicon procurement has been completed. So, only a few deals have been struck this week, with polysilicon prices for mono-Si wafers having remained at USD 10.2–10.7/kg and those for multi-Si wafers at USD 7.2–7.7/kg. 
 

Wafer 

Shortage of polysilicon for mono-Si wafers is becoming less severe in September than in August, so polysilicon prices for mono-Si wafers have remained stable for several weeks. Meanwhile, as the supply and demand for mono-Si wafers has become balanced recently and cell makers are preparing for the upcoming holiday, mono-Si wafer market stays on strong footing, with G1 wafers staying at RMB 3.03–3.08/piece and M6 wafers at RMB 3.18–3.23/piece in China and USD 0.386–0.392/piece for G1 and USD 0.405–0.411/piece for M6 in foreign markets.

It appears that polysilicon deals clinched for October thus far showed little change in prices compared with September. So, it’s expected that Tier-1 maker Longi’s October pricings for mono-Si wafers, which will be released this week, will stay constant. 

With polysilicon prices for multi-Si wafers staying at high levels and wafer makers piling up polysilicon ahead of the National Day, multi-Si wafer price are almost consistent this week with their previous levels, staying at RMB 1.55–1.65/piece in the Chinese market and UJSD 0.203–0.215/piece in non-Chinese markets.

Multi-Si wafer prices had been rising due to the shortage of multi-grade polysilicon since early July; it was not until September—when mono-Si wafer prices and polysilicon prices began to stabilize—did multi-Si wafer prices turn steady. Overall, because multi-Si wafer prices are subject to how polysilicon prices for multi-Si wafers are faring, multi-Si wafers are going to generate modest profits at best.
 

Cell 

While prices for G1 cells hover at RMB 0.86–0.87/W this week, most deals are clinched at RMB 0.86/W as Tier-2 and 3 makers are struggling to deliver orders.

By contrast, prices for M6 cells—which enjoy strong demand in Q4 and whose new production capacity is still being commissioned—remain high as usual at RMB 0.92–0.93/W, with few October deals clinched at below RMB 0.9/W. Even though the price for silver paste is decreasing due to falling international silver prices, mono-Si cell prices are stable on the whole and will remain so in Q4 as the prices will sustain less decrease in October thanks to strong demand. 

While multi-Si wafer prices are stable now, the average prices for multi-Si cell prices hover at RMB 2.6–2.65/piece temporarily due to relatively high costs. As multi demand continues to shrink and multi-Si cell prices can no longer decrease, the ramifications of this development will penetrate upstream.
 

Module 

Considering the extent of shortage of M6 cells and PV glass, as well as the schedules for module production, Q4 will be the busiest quarter of the year. The price for PV glass continues to go up in the meantime. Against this backdrop, module prices have stabilized recently. But with the number of orders for Q4 varying from producer to producer, there have been a wild array of price quotes offered; prices for M6 modules are said to be quoted at RMB 1.52–1.65/W or RMB 1.58–1.6/W for most utility-scale PV projects. Module prices in non-Chinese markets will stay at USD 0.2/W or above and around USD 0.22/W in the spot market.

With the high season to return and the pace of glass capacity expansion is unable to catch up with that of modules, shortages will remain until the end of this year. So, price quotes for October’s orders for PV glass have significantly increased. Yet, with cell prices stabilizing, module makers are producing limited profits, resulting in a continued buyer/seller standoff over glass prices. So, only a handful of PV glass deals are clinched this week. However, next week will see a growing number of PV glass deals struck, with prices for 3.2-mm and 2-mm glass to trend upward.