Having signed mono-grade polysilicon orders for December, Tier-1 producers are now making deliveries, so only a few new deals have been struck recently. So far, all producers maintain a healthy inventory level. The market price has climbed by RMB 0.5–1/kg since some manufacturers and traders offered higher price quotes. On the whole, prices for mono-grade polysilicon were stable this week, staying at RMB 80–83/kg in the market and RMB 81/kg on average. Polysilicon producers are reportedly testing the market by offering higher price quotes for January; calls for price hikes are growing louder than they were in the previous week. However, as manufacturers are running at full capacity and the output of polysilicon will outpace module demand in the first half of 2021, polysilicon prices will struggle to pick up and trend in a steady way until the Chinese New Year.
With prices for mono-grade polysilicon having stopped declining and multi-Si wafer production having dwindled, prices for multi-grade polysilicon remained almost constant this week with their previous levels at RMB 50–52/kg, averaging RMB 51/kg. DL Silicon, a producer of multi-grade polysilicon based in Inner Mongolia, is going to reopen in early January.
In non-Chinese markets, to which some Tier-1 manufacturers are still making deliveries, polysilicon price negotiations are expected to kick off at the start of next year. This week, only a few deals were clinched, with market prices hovering at USD 9.6–9.9/kg for mono-grade polysilicon and USD 6.3–6.7/kg for multi-grade polysilicon.
Demand for mono-Si wafers is strong amid the end-December installation rush. While manufacturers are running at full capacity this month, there remains a shortage of mono-Si wafers of all sizes. Consequently, wafer prices remained high this week at RMB 3.1–3.14/piece for G1 and 3.2–3.24/piece for M6 in China and USD 0.418–0.422/piece for G1 and 0.432–0.436/piece for M6 in non-Chinese markets. Prices for large wafers stayed at RMB 3.8–3.9/piece for M10 and RMB 5.48/piece for G12. While Tier-1 maker Longi is going to announce its December prices, mono-Si wafers are running low in supply as new capacities for mono-Si wafers are coming online at a slow pace in Q4 due to a shortage of furnace thermal-field materials. Moreover, demand for large wafers is increasing as new cell production lines for large format are coming online. For these reasons, mono-Si wafer prices are more likely than before to remain stable in January.
With prices for mono-Si wafers and polysilicon going steady, prices for multi products remain stable from up to downstream, for now. Multi-Si wafer prices were consistent this week with their previous levels, staying at RMB 1.18–1.5/piece in China and USD 0.165–0.201/piece in non-Chinese markets. Most multi-Si wafer makers are undertaking production for January orders in response to constant demand. Meanwhile, demand for mid-and mid-high-efficiency multi-Si wafers remains widespread, whereas that for high-efficiency ones is relatively modest.
Deals that had been struck were executed this week, with prices staying at RMB 0.88/W for G1 and RMB 0.94–0.95/W for M6. Mono-Si cell prices are varying wildly these days as price negotiations over January orders are under way.
Considering that the supply of G1 cells will shrink next year, some module manufacturers prematurely secure orders for such cells. The price for G1 cells is expected to pick up in January to an average of RMB 0.9–0.92/W.
The price for M6 cells, which shows signs of decline amid price negotiations over January orders, is expected to settle down next week, resuming its downward trend and declining to RMB 0.92–0.93/W. In addition, price gaps between Tier-1 and Tier-2 producers will widen again.
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 in January next year—presumably RMB 0.95–0.97/W.
Demand for multi-Si cells is modest, with their price having stayed at RMB 2.4–2.45/piece this week. As multi-Si cell prices can hardly decrease any further, the prices are subject to how wafer prices are evolving.
Module auxiliary materials fetch high prices as module makers need to get the materials ready at the end of January in time for production during the Chinese New Year. In response to persistently high prices for auxiliary materials, module producers are planning their capacity utilization in January and February. In addition, they may stop using outsourcing services and many of them will have to lower capacity utilization.
To deal with high prices for auxiliary materials, module producers will stick with high price quotes at the start of next year—RMB 1.62–1.7/W or USD 0.21–0.225/W for modules based on M6 wafers and RMB 1.67–1.75/W or USD 0.22–0.23/W for large format modules. However, module prices may decrease along with shrinking demand after the Chinese New Year.