Last week Chinese Tier-1 polysilicon manufacturers have signed orders for this month, leading to a decrease of trading prices for mono-grade polysilicon by RMB 1/kg compared with last week. Mono-grade polysilicon are mostly traded at RMB 80-83/kg, with the average price sitting at RMB 81/kg. After nearly two weeks of seller-buyer standoff, mono-grade polysilicon is almost selling out this month. Moreover, a Tier-1 mono-Si wafer manufacturer is reportedly to procure nearly 10,000 MT of polysilicon on the spot market, allowing the inventory of most polysilicon producers return to normal level. With no extra stocks to sell, mono-grade polysilicon prices are expected to remain stable until the end of the year.
It seems that polysilicon stocks held by most Tier-1 mono-Si wafer makers are enough until mid-January. As manufacturers are stocking up ahead of the Lunar New Year, keeping demand healthy, while delivery in Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia is disrupted in winter, prices for mono-grade polysilicon are predicted to remain stable before the Lunar New Year.
As production of multi-Si wafers continue to dwindle and mono-grade polysilicon prices declined, multi-grade polysilicon prices are low this week, with the trading price ranging from RMB 50-53/kg and averaging RMB 51/kg.
In foreign markets, since polysilicon prices for December have been settled in China and mono-Si wafer prices remain high, polysilicon prices in overseas markets decrease marginally this week in the face of downward price pressure. Prices for mono- and multi-grade polysilicon prices respectively came in at USD 9.6-9.9/W and USD 6.3-6.7/W.
Demand for mono-Si wafers is strong as the market is rushing to connect project to the grid by the end of the year. As the supply of G1 (158.75mm) and M6 (166mm) wafers remain short, market prices of mono-Si wafers are stable this week, with that for G1 and M6 wafers respectively traded at RMB 3.1-3.14/piece and RMB 3.2-3.24/piece. In foreign markets, G1 and M6 wafers were priced at USD 0.418-0.422/piece and USD 0.432-0.436/piece, respectively. In contrast to mono-grade polysilicon prices, which have declined more than 15% since October, mono-Si wafer prices have remained high and generated high profits. Overall, with mono-grade polysilicon prices decreasing and the installation rush to end at the end the year, mono-Si wafer prices may start to move downward before the Lunar New Year.
In the face of sluggish demand, multi-Si wafer manufacturers have cut production. Some Tier-1 producers also reported that their business is struggling. This week the market prices in both China and foreign markets saw little change – staying at RMB 1.18-1.5/piece and USD 0.165-0.201/piece.
With mono-Si products dominating the market, demand for multi-Si products continues to dwindle, and coupled with glass shortage, multi-Si cell and module makers are running at low capacity utilization. So, multi-Si wafer prices will remain weak and move in accordance to end-user demand as well as polysilicon prices.
G1 mono-Si cells are still running short this week, causing prices to move upward. The average prices came in at RMB 0.87-0.88/W. As large cell manufacturers plan to modify lines at the beginning of 2021, supply of G1 cells will reduce gradually. This pushes manufacturers to stock up G1 cells in advance. So, manufacturers will receive orders for G1 until Q1 2021 and from Q2, demand will start to weaken.
Orders of M6 cells will remain healthy in the first half of December before the end of installation rush. With wafer prices remaining high amid shortage, the average prices stay at RMB 0.94-0.95/W this week, and the price trend will remain stable until mid-December. After the installation rush comes to an end, prices for cell in the high price range will remain stable due to lower supply, while prices for low and medium efficiency cells will decline amid weakening demand.
Given supply of large-sized cells is low in the early phase of large size development, prices will stay at the current level throughout this month.
Demand for multi-Si cells is low, with the average prices decreasing marginally to RMB 2.45/piece this week. As there’s no room for multi-Si cell prices to decrease further, the prices are subject to wafer prices.
As demand is slowing toward the end of the year, glass prices began to stabilize in December. Sales of some module bill of materials also declined this month. In contrast, prices for overseas markets are surging. With US dollar falling rapidly and some projects are in the midst of installation, foreign spot prices remain high. As a result, the traded volume is low because end users are biding their time. For now, modules featuring M6 cells stay at RMB 1.62-1.7/W in China and USD 0.21-0.225/W overseas. For new orders, module makers’ quotes for Q1 next year are currently stable, but as demand will weaken after the Lunar New Year, module makers are expected to lower prices starting March.
Price increase in PV glass has finally stopped in December. While glass continues to be traded actively, the shortage has eased up compared with November, with prices staying unchanged. The long-term contracts signed between large manufacturers mostly saw a price of RMB 42-43/m2 for 3.2mm glass. For regular contracts, the prices sit at RMB 46-49/m2, although there are also contracts signed with a price slightly higher than this level. The glass shortage is expected to subside in January as the installation rush ends.