Prices for mono-grade polysilicon increased fractionally this week to RMB 82–85/kg in the market and RMB 83/kg on average. Meanwhile, as most polysilicon producers are maintaining adequate stocks and some wafer producers are going to stock up polysilicon ahead of the Lunar New Year, there is a small polysilicon shortage, making it highly likely to raise market prices and price quotes. Some Tier-1 makers are expected to raise their price quotes by RMB 2–3/kg or even higher amounts after the new year.
However, polysilicon prices are not going to increase much in Q1 next year, since module producers will reduce their utilization rates in response to diminished demand, in which case there will be enough polysilicon in the first half of the year.
Prices for multi-grade polysilicon remained constant this week at RMB 50–52/kg in the market and RMB 51/kg on average, as multi-Si wafer makers have cut production, leading to a supply/demand balance in the up and downstream sectors for multi products.
In non-Chinese markets, several Chinese Tier-1 polysilicon manufacturers are in the midst of fulfilling orders, although more and more customers are engaged in price bargaining ahead of time, taking into account the hikes in polysilicon prices in China. Therefore, prices for mono-grade polysilicon climbed this week to USD 9.7–10/kg in the market and USD 9.8/kg on average.
New production lines 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 production lines for large cells are coming online. Thus, mono-Si wafers of all formats are running low in supply in Q4. For these reasons, Tier-1 maker Longi’s January prices for mono-Si wafers stay constant. This week, the market price for mono-Si wafers remained high at RMB 3.11–3.14/piece for G1, RMB 3.2–3.24/piece for M6, RMB 3.8–3.9/piece for M10, and RMB 5.48/piece for G12 in China; USD 0.418–0.422/piece for G1 and USD 0.432–0.436/piece for M6 in non-Chinese markets. Even though mono-Si wafer makers are moving toward large formats, there remains some demand for the G1 format, and so the supply of such wafers is more severe than the M6 format.
Multi-Si wafer prices in China and non-Chinese markets remained consistent this week with their previous levels, staying at RMB 1.18–1.49/piece and USD 0.162–0.2/piece, respectively. As prices for multi-grade polysilicon have been stable since early December and multi demand remains steady for the time being, most multi-Si wafer producers are operating according to their production schedules to fill a steady number of orders placed for January next year. On the whole, multi demand will dwindle and is not going to pick up any time soon. So, the multi-Si wafer market will not fare well.
Negotiations over January deals are now underway; some of the deals have been struck, with prices being bargained. This week, the price for G1 cells stood at RMB 0.9–0.92/W, whereas that for M6 cells was variable, sitting at RMB 0.9–0.94/W for signed orders. Prices for M10 and G12 cells, in the meantime, remained stable this week.
New deals for G1 cells were clinched this week, with prices sitting at RMB 0.9–0.91/W. As the supply of G1 cells is shrinking and some manufacturers need to stock up on the cells ahead of the Lunar New Year, the price for the cells may remain stable and then increase marginally in January, and they may start to decline after the Lunar New Year holiday.
As some M6 deals have recently been clinched, demand for M6 cells will decline in January, and several cell makers are going to close up on January 1, the price for the cells has resumed its downward trend, declining by RMB 0.03–0.06/W. As a result, the price gap has reemerged between Tier-1 and Tier-2 producers, with the cells even undersold at RMB 0.84–0.85/W. Price bargaining over M6 cell deals for January is still under way, but it may turn more certain next week.
In terms 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 0.94–0.97/W.
Demand for multi-Si cells is low, 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.
New deals for PV glass have increasingly been placed, with the average price remaining virtually stable. The price for high-priced glass, however, has declined from RMB 48–50/m2 to RMB 47/m2.
Anticipating shrinking demand in the coming month, many module producers are going to stop outsourcing and cut production. Having said that, since customers in Western markets are spending Christmas holidays, module prices will not undergo any dramatic change, with prices for M6-based modules staying at RMB 1.62–1.7/W in China and USD 0.21–0.225/W abroad.
Production of large modules will continue to grow in January; their prices remain stable at RMB 1.67–1.75/W in China and USD 0.22–0.23/W abroad.