Demand is strong, with several wafer manufacturers requesting for orders in recent terms. Still, most polysilicon manufacturers had settled orders for this month in the first half of August and saw only few sporadic orders and repeat orders being signed this week.With low inventory levels, overall price fluctuations were small, with mainstream prices for mono-grade polysilicon sitting at RMB 200-205/kg; trading prices below RMB 200/kg were rare. Prices in USD remained stable.
Polysilicon supply may be short next month, driving prices up slightly, as wafers saw significant upward price trends recently and utilization rates will stay at a higher level in September. However, since module prices can hardly go up, polysilicon prices will not see much of room for increases.
On August 11, Zhonghuan released new pricings, with prices for G1, M6, and G12 wafers with a thickness of 170um rising to RMB 4.88/piece, RMB 4.98/piece, and RMB 7.97/piece, respectively. The price hikes were greater than the expected, but smaller scale wafer manufacturers followed suit, given the undeniably short wafer supply. This week, buyers have come to accept this round of price increases. M6 wafers saw mainstream prices coming in at RMB 4.89-4.98/piece, a marked increase from RMB 4.7-4.74 of pricings before. In overseas markets, prices for G1 and M6 wafers went up, in accordance with official pricings of Zhonghuan.
Latest official pricings of Longi will only come out next week, but other M10 wafer manufacturers have already raised pricings amid short supply, with mainstream trading prices for 175um-thick wafers sitting at around RMB 5.9/piece. G12 wafer supply was also intense, with mainstream trading prices reaching Zhonghuan’s pricings, whilst some orders were signed at even higher levels.
As prices for wafers, big or small, stepped on upward trends, the industry expected Longi to end its months-long firm stance and raise pricings again.
Multi-Si wafer prices rose daily amid strong demand for multi-Si products from the Indian market. Presently, mainstream trading prices have reached RMB 2-2.1/piece, a nearly 8% of increase on last week’s RMB 1.9/piece. Multi-Si wafer price hikes show no sign of stopping by far, as polysilicon prices are still likely to rise marginally. In line with prices in China, prices in overseas markets went up, with mainstream trading prices coming in at USD 0.295-0.305/piece.
Cell prices officially went up this week amid rising production costs, with prices for cells of 158.75mm averaged at RMB 1.1-1.12/W, 166mm at RMB 1.02-1.03/W, 182mm at RMB 1.03-1.04/W, and 210mm at RMB 0.99-1/W. Prices for G1 and M6 cells rose by RMB 0.03/W, M10 cells by RMB 0.02/W, and G12 cells by RMB 0.01/W.
With module makers’ limited cost durability, purchase activities slightly slowed down this week, as compared to the beginning of August. Module makers are expected to stay in a wait and see mode and not revise purchase volumes down markedly, as orders are delivered in the second half of August while in-house production continues. Some module makers are considering lowering production and purchase volumes, which hinge on demand during September and November.
Multi-Si cell prices continued rising along with multi-Si wafer price hikes this week, reaching RMB 3.5-3.85/piece. As multi-Si wafer price hikes pervades, prices for multi-Si cells are expected to stay accordingly on an upward trend.
Presently, prices of Tier-1 vertically integrated companies saw no significant changes, averaging at last week’s levels. Mainstream prices for M6 glass-backsheet modules sat mostly at RMB 1.73-1.77/W, whilst glass-backsheet modules with power output exceeding 500 W saw prices stabilized at RMB 1.75-1.8/W. Glass-glass modules saw around RMB 0.02-0.03/W of price differences.
Some module BOM prices stepped on an upward trend as upstream price hikes returned. With soda crystal and natural gas price hikes, prices for coated glass were poised to rise, with glass makers wishing to raise prices from RMB 22/m2 to RMB 23-24/m2. However, sellers and buyers are still negotiating; most major module makers have yet to accept the price revision.
The rising production costs drove some module makers to consider revising prices upwardly, which may be rather difficult, given end users’ small cost durability after rounds of price increases from last to this year. Some module makers will only deliver orders partially at the end of this year, extending delivering time to the first quarter of next year. Additionally, several projects were carried out through price negotiations, instead of the usual tendering process.
In overseas markets, module prices stabilized at current levels for the time being, whilst utility-scale ground-mounted stations saw no changes in prices by far. Prices for M6 and M10 modules averaged at USD 0.23-0.24/W and USD 0.24-0.245/W, respectively. In Europe, prices on the distribution market are expected to see USD 0.01-0.015/W of increases.