Prices for mono-grade polysilicon continued their decline into this week, coming in at RMB 81–84/kg in the market and RMB 82/kg on average, down by RMB 4/kg from the previous week. Since the National Day Golden Week, polysilicon prices have been declining every week, as supply from Xinjiang-based manufacturers has been growing. Compared with early October, the prices were down by 13%, or RMB 12/kg in early December. The price decline took place for two reasons. First, between September and November, some mono-Si wafer makers cut production, and with enough polysilicon in stocks, they were in no hurry to purchase polysilicon. So, price negotiations and contract signing have been postponed.
Second, with inventories to reduce and pressure to post good numbers in their financial reports, most polysilicon makers allow for bargaining. However, as the Lunar New Year is approaching, wafer makers will stock up polysilicon ahead of holiday, some mono-Si wafer makers will commission new capacity additions as scheduled, and there are issues concerning delivery from Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia during winter, mono-grade polysilicon prices are expected to stop falling and then stabilize.
Shrinking end-use demand and growing mono-Si market share sent multi-grade polysilicon plummeting. This week, the prices came in at RMB 51–53/kg in the market and RMB 52/kg on average, down by RMB 4/kg from the previous week.
Polysilicon prices in non-Chinese markets were trending downward this week, and they did not seem to turn stable. Right after negotiations, the suppliers signed a contract to receive cash to prevent losses induced by further price decline. This week, prices for mono-grade polysilicon declined to USD 9.6–10/kg in the market and USD 9.8/kg on average.
Since Longi’s December prices are consistent with their November levels, the market prices for mono-Si wafers barely showed changes this week compared to the previous week: RMB 3.1–3.14/piece for G1 and RMB 3.2–3.24/piece for M6 in China and USD 0.418–0.422/piece for G1 and USD 0.432–0.436/piece for M6. With healthy demand in Q4, G1 and M6 wafers remain in shortage. G1 wafer supply is dwindling as most producers have shifted to produce M6 wafers. In the future, G1 wafers will be available on a custom basis. On the whole, as the installation boom is winding down and prices for mono-grade polysilicon are falling, mono-Si wafer prices may decline before the Chinese New Year.
As multi demand is persistently low and multi-Si cell prices can no longer decline further, cell producers have asked multi-Si wafer makers to cut prices. So, this week the market price for multi-Si wafers slipped to RMB 1.18–1.5/piece in China and USD 0.165–0.201/piece in non-Chinese markets. Moreover, as manufacturers are running under capacity in response to weak end-market demand, multi-Si wafer prices will continue to decrease. The prices are subject to changes in end-market demand and polysilicon prices.
Considering the recent developments in cell production of different size variants, large makers are speeding up their shift to large cells. So, at the start of next year, large cells may account for a higher market share in production and manufacturers in different size alliances will work even harder to maintain their competitiveness. As only a few producers can supply large cells at the early stage of size enlargement and have yet performed any production ramp-up, prices for large cells will sit at their current levels throughout December.
The price for M6 cells climbed fractionally this week to RMB 0.94–0.95/W as some of orders will be placed in the first half of December amid the installation boom and the price for M6 wafers has yet declined due to shortage. The M6 cell price may remain stable until the mid-December, after which demand will decrease and the price will trend downward.
The price for G1 cells climbed to RMB 0.86–0.87/W, up by RMB 0.01–0.02/W, because the G1 wafer price had increased and China’s draw-in for G1 cells had improved. The supply of G1 cells will decrease, allowing their price to remain constant until mid-December, after which it will decline gradually.
The average price for multi-Si cells slipped to RMB 2.45–2.5/piece this week amid modest demand. Since multi-Si cell prices will not decline any further, how they will fare depends on price change in the wafer sector.
As 2020 is drawing to a close, there are only a few new orders delivered for this year. So, prices for M6-based modules have become stable at RMB 1.62–1.7/W or USD 0.21–0.225/W, with deals clinched at around RMB 1.6/W being executed.
With negotiations going on over orders for Q1 and Q2 next year, module prices look likely to remain stable in Q1 next year. Moreover, modules based on M10 and G12 wafers share a small price gap with modules featuring M6 wafers—and depending on the project size and the delivery deadline, this gap may sit at RMB 1.67–1.75/W or USD 0.22–0.23/W in Q1.