After the Labor Day holiday, trading prices between major manufacturers mostly sit at RMB 160-170/kg. The upward trend will remain, as polysilicon shortage intensified this month. In recent days, the market saw mainstream prices coming in at RMB 175-185/kg, while sporadic orders were signed at RMB 190-200/kg.
In the meantime, manufacturers were still fulfilling orders previously signed at RMB 160-170/kg, sending chaos to price range. In overseas markets, where prices are always higher, trading prices rapidly surge amid severe shortage, closing at USD 24-27/kg.
With mono-ingot pulling capacity coming online during Q2-Q3, polysilicon shortage intensified, propelling prices to keep breaking record highs. However, as polysilicon prices surged by RMB 20/kg within half of a month, adding RMB 0.055-0.065/W of production costs to modules and systems. The industry is concerned with the impact module demand may have to receive the second half of this year and next year.
Polysilicon shortage pervades, resulting in 10-30% of decreases in mono-ingot pulling utilization rates. Overall, wafer production volumes fell behind expectation; cell makers have reported on wafer manufacturers’ failure to fulfil long-term orders.
After Zhonghuan raised wafer price quotes on May 10, Longi raised prices for G1, M6, M10 wafers (170 um) to RMB 4.39, 4.49, 5.39/piece on May 14. High polysilicon prices accelerated wafer thinning process; M10 wafers switched from the original thickness of 175 um to 170 um during Q2-Q3.
Price quotes for wafers are expected to see another round of price increase next week, as polysilicon prices markedly rose by RMB 15-30/kg from its early May level.
Despite waning Indian end user demand due to the end of fiscal year and impacts of the pandemic, multi-Si wafers have seen continual price hikes every week amid polysilicon price surge, with recent trading prices coming in at RMB 2.3-2.5/piece.
peaked at RMB 1-1.02/W, with wider range of acceptance from medium and small-scale manufacturers. Price divergence emerged in the orders signed by Tier-1 and Tier-2 manufacturers, with the former signing orders mostly at RMB 0.98-1/W, whereas the latter and Tier-3 manufacturers accepting prices exceeding RMB 1/W.
Following the Labor Day holiday, prices for M6 cells came in at RMB 0.92-Trading prices for M6 cells marginally rose this week, to RMB 0.99-1.02/W, averaging slightly higher at RMB 0.99-1/W; some orders were signed at the high prices of RMB 1.01-1.02/W. Prices in the overseas markets also rose accordingly.
Next week, wafer manufacturers are expected to lift prices again, as a result, some cell makers are attempting to raise prices by RMB 1.02-1.05/W; marginal price increases are expected in the recent term. However, price increase can hardly reach beyond RMB 1/W as that put pressure on module makers; prices await the result of negotiations next week.
This week, trading prices for G1 cells rose to RMB 1-1.02/W, averaged at RMB 1/W. Demand for G1 cells will continue into May and June, but still see dramatic decline compared to its April level. As production volume went down accordingly, prices for G1 cells will have limited room for further increases.
Business of large cells still relies on OEM and dual distribution model at present; trading volumes are rather weak with low direct purchase amounts and weak inventory draws. Major module makers still hold reserved attitudes in procurements. Orders for direct purchases were signed successively, with prices revised marginally to RMB 0.99-1/W.
Average prices for multi-Si cells surged to RMB 3.7-3.85/piece, driven by upstream price hikes and a rather balanced supply-demand relationship. Given the module utilization rates were cut to 40-50% due to pandemic in India and the limited cost durability of the module sector, prices will increase rather slowly afterwards and are likely to reach RMB 3.8-3.9/W next week.
Some module makers are considering revising utilization rates down slightly, as polysilicon prices kept rising after crossing RMB 160/kg. Module prices, on the other hand, were necessarily raised, with price quotes for monofacial modules with a power output exceeding 500 W rose from RMB 1.68-1.75/W in April, to RMB 1.75-1.8/W. Overseas markets will see USD 0.01/W of price increase, driving overseas price quotes for modules with a power output exceeding 500 W to sit above USD 0.24/W.
New orders have been stuck in gridlock in and out of China, as module prices were driven up by polysilicon costs increases. Standoff between end user demand and module prices will continue during May and June.