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Updated January 20, 2021

Polysilicon price

Tier-1 polysilicon producers are executing their previous contracts and will deliver all their orders before the Lunar New Year. With no polysilicon left for sale, demand likely to remain strong until the Lunar New Year, and some mono-Si wafer makers concerned about corona-induced delays in shipment, many wafer producers procure polysilicon in increased volumes just in case they end up under-supplied with polysilicon. Moreover, as polysilicon is running short, some suppliers refrain from selling polysilicon, and polysilicon demand is growing, prices for mono-grade polysilicon are rising.

Prices for mono-grade polysilicon increased this week to RMB 85–89/kg in the market and RMB 86/kg on average. Tier-1 makers only provide price quotes to potential customers, although the quotes are variable, with only a few deals clinched at high prices. How prices for mono-grade polysilicon will change depends on Tier-1 mono-Si wafer producer Longi’s February list prices, which will be published next week. With mono-Si wafers running short, prices for mono-grade polysilicon are likely to climb before the Lunar New Year. 

Prices for multi-grade polysilicon remained constant this week at RMB 53–56/kg in the market and RMB 54/kg on average, as multi-Si wafer manufacturers were cutting down on production, allowing a balanced supply/demand situation to last for a while in up-and downstream sectors.

Because of the ongoing polysilicon shortage in China, negotiations over polysilicon prices abroad are going well, with a growing number of requests for quote. So, this week, the market price for mono-grade polysilicon climbed to USD 10.7–11/kg, whereas that for multi-grade polysilicon held ground at USD 6.6–7/kg.

Wafer price

The market price for mono-Si wafers was consistent this week with its previous levels. Most Tier-1 mono-Si wafer producers are having much business and are fully-booked for January; some customers have started to clinch February deals and are even willing to secure an order ahead of time. This week, mono-Si wafer prices sat at RMB 3.11–3.14/piece for G1, RMB 3.2–3.24/piece for M6, RMB 3.87–3.9/piece for M10, and RMB 5.48/piece for G12 in China, and USD 0.425–0.429/piece for G1 and USD 0.438–0.442/piece for M6 in non-Chinese markets.

Tier-1 maker Longi is going to release its February list prices next week. However, since Q4 last year, furnace thermal-field materials have been running short, new production lines for mono-Si wafers have been commissioned at a slower pace than expected, and production capacity for mono-Si wafers has become dispersed because of the launch of different formats.

Moreover, new mono-Si cell production lines are coming online ahead of time, which has led to a shortage of mono-Si wafers. Against this backdrop, mono-Si wafer prices are likely to remain steady until the Lunar New Year.

This week’s market price for multi-Si wafer stayed at RMB 1.15–1.49/piece in China and USD 0.162–0.203/piece abroad. As multi products are decreasing in availability and multi demand is persistently weak, a balanced supply/demand situation will persist for a while in the sector. Moreover, despite a small decline in multi-Si cell prices, multi-Si wafer prices are not going to show any marked change in the near future since the manufacturers are operating at the break-even point.

Cell price

Mono-Si cell prices are going down, and many producers are biding their time. Meanwhile, some producers are struggling to do business due to an escalating corona pandemic. The price for G1 cells currently sits at RMB 0.9–0.91/W, having registered a small decline amid increased supply—with low-priced deals clinched at RMB 0.88–0.89/W. While Tier-1 makers are advancing to larger formats, several cell makers have reverted to the G1 format. And with an ongoing rush to stock up on G1 cells, the G1 cell price is likely to stay at a high level until the Lunar New Year in February, when it may start to trend downward.

The price for M6 cells keeps falling, with deals struck at RMB 0.83–0.86/W. The price range for M6 cells has narrowed to RMB 0.85–0.86/W for Tier-1 makers and a bargain level of RMB 0.8–0.83/W for Tier-2 and 3 makers. Meanwhile, recent negotiations over new deals, exchange-rate variations, and the slow penetration of the falling M6 cell price in China led the price to decline fractionally in non-Chinese markets.

The prices for large cells sustained small declines this week, averaging RMB 0.91/W for M10 and RMB 0.92/W for G12. Since large cells are still in their infancy and compatible wafers are not easy to procure, such cells are mainly produced via OEM and ODM companies. Thus, the prices for the cells are relatively stable. 

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.

Module price

On January 20, the Chinese National Energy Administration announced that China added 48.2 GW of new solar capacity last year, having commissioned record levels of capacity in Q4 in recent years, which points to growing domestic demand.

There is a low number of new deals clinched in non-Chinese markets amid a depreciating dollar and exorbitant shipping costs. However, with many projects postponed in China and abroad in Q1 this year and a still-positive outlook for solar demand throughout the year, price quotes for modules remain stable. While the price quotes will remain stable in the near future, they may become higher than expected in the second half of this year, coming in at around RMB 1.5/W or USD 0.205/W for orders scheduled for delivery in Q3.

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