Nearly all of mono-grade polysilicon was booked early in December, as it was procured in batches. After polysilicon producers clinched major deals, they have almost depleted their stocks and have had little left to sell. Polysilicon contracts are also being executed. For these reasons, the market price for mono-grade polysilicon remained stable this week compared to the previous week, sitting at RMB 80–83/kg and RMB 81/kg on average. There are a few polysilicon deals still being negotiated, so without inventory pressure, manufactures are testing the market by offering higher price quotes for temporary and urgent orders, but only few deals are struck. Tier-1 wafer producers’ stocks will last until mid-January, so the latest round of negotiations will kick off as early as the end of this year or early next year. By then, polysilicon prices will become certain. Prices for mono-grade polysilicon will go steady until the end of this year.
As producers of multi-grade polysilicon have closed down for maintenance and multi-Si wafer prices remain stable amid dwindling production, this week’s market price for multi-grade polysilicon stayed flat at RMB 50–53/kg and RMB 51/kg on average. Prices for multi-grade polysilicon are not going to bounce back anytime soon because of persistently low demand.
Few deals for polysilicon were clinched in non-Chinese markets this week as Chinese polysilicon prices for December have settled down and many customers have therefore asked for price quotes only. While there is some demand, customers are less likely to place orders without being offered any discount. This week’s prices for mono-grade and multi-grade polysilicon came in at USD 9.6–9.9/kg and USD 6.3–6.7/kg, respectively.
The market price for mono-Si wafers remained stable this week, with some producers having reported a shortage. So, prices stay at 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 in non-Chinese markets. The market price for large wafers was RMB 3.8–3.9/piece for M10 and RMB 5.48/piece for G12. Tier-1 maker Longi is going to announce January prices for mono-Si wafers. Mono-Si wafer prices are likely to remain stable amid a shortage of the wafers and slow progress in the commissioning of new capacity for mono-ingot pulling.
As polysilicon prices have been stable recently and multi-Si wafer producers continue to cut production, there exists a supply/demand balance for multi-Si wafers. This week’s market price for multi-Si wafers sat at RMB 1.18–1.5/piece in China and USD 0.165–0.201/piece abroad. Multi-Si wafer prices can no longer decline any further and are subject to the change in polysilicon prices. Meanwhile, as mono-Si products become increasingly dominant and glass shortage continues to prevail, the market share of multi products is shrinking, which has prompted producers of multi-Si cells and multi modules to run at low capacity. Consequently, some multi-Si cell producers mull shutting down production by the end of this year.
With almost all cell deals having been clinched for December, this week manufacturers are fulfilling orders that have been signed. Cell prices were stable at RMB 0.88/W for G1 and RMB 0.94–0.95/W for M6. Cell prices in non-Chinese markets have changed slightly as the USD/RMB exchange rate varies.
Negotiations over deals for January next year have just begun. Module manufacturers prioritize securing G1 cells, considering that Tier-1 cell makers are going to upgrade their production lines to large formats at the beginning of 2021 and thus cause the supply of G1 cells to dwindle. In this case, the price for G1 cells will climb in January to RMB 0.89–0.9/W.
Speaking of large cells, only a few producers can supply them at the early stage of size enlargement, and they have yet begun any production ramp-up. So, prices for large cells will sit at certain levels throughout January next year.
Multi-Si cell prices stayed at RMB 2.4–2.45/piece this week due to persistently low demand. Since the prices will not decline any further, how they will fare depends on price change in the wafer sector.
Module orders have been increasingly delivered for solar projects due for grid connection at the end of this year. Meanwhile, module producers may reduce their utilization rates at the end of this year or January next year in anticipation of diminished demand and a slack during the Chinese New Year.
Most module makers are expected to offer relatively higher price quotes for early next year, with prices forecast to be RMB 1.62–1.7/W and USD 0.21–0.225/W for modules based on M6 wafers and RMB 1.67-1.75/W and USD 0.22–0.23/W for modules based on large wafers. However, the module BOM may sustains price declines during January–February as module manufacturers reduce their utilization rates.