With polysilicon prices still likely to increase in the short term, some businesses have already signed orders for September, although major manufacturers haven’t begun a new round of negotiation. Against this backdrop, mono-grade polysilicon saw broader trading price range, with prices came in mostly at RMB 203-207/kg; a few orders were signed at RMB 210/kg and even higher.
Negotiations between major manufacturers will take place next week. Polysilicon supply may be short next month, keeping prices on a gradual upward trend, as demand already picked up and overall utilization rates will stay at a higher level in September across the supply chain. However, since module prices can hardly go up, the room for polysilicon prices increases will be limited.
On August 19, Longi released new pricings, with prices for G1, M6 and M10 wafers with a thickness of 170um rose to RMB 4.99/piece, RMB 5.09/piece, and RMB 6.11/piece, respectively. The price hikes were greater than that of Zhonghuan, but the rest of manufacturers still followed suit, given strong demand from downstream sectors in the high season. M6 wafers saw mainstream prices coming in at RMB 5.07-5.09/piece. In overseas markets, prices for G1 and M6 wafers increased, in accordance with the latest official pricings.
After this round of wafer price hikes, cell and module sectors did not trim down utilization rates markedly as they usually did. As a result, the increased pricings are expected to persist into September; marginal price hikes are still likely in the short term.
Meanwhile, major manufacturers are actively developing wafer thinning process, in face of wafer shortages in the coming months.
Multi-Si wafer prices soared amid robust demand for multi-Si products from the Indian market. Presently, mainstream trading prices have reached RMB 2.2-2.35/piece, a significant increase on last week’s RMB 2-2.1/piece. Prices in overseas markets went up along with those in China.
As price hikes in the upstream continued, this week, prices for M6 and M10 cells kept rising after Longi released new pricings, with price quotes reaching RMB 1.05-1.06/W. This week, trading prices for cells of 158.75mm averaged at RMB 1.1-1.12/W as last week, 166mm at RMB 1.03-1.04/W, 182mm at RMB 1.04-1.05/W, and 210mm at RMB 0.99-1/W as last week. M6 and M10 cells saw prices up by RMB 0.02/W, whilst G1 and G12 cell prices remained at previous levels.
Tier-1 module makers continued pressuring the cell sector, mostly fulfilling orders previously signed.
This week, orders for September materialized as medium sized manufacturers took the lead to accept the price increases. Still, prices can hardly exceed RMB 1.05/W, as purchase activities slightly slowed down, as compared to early August. Presently, purchase volumes are expected to show signs of rising in September and see little reduction by far, as orders are delivered in the second half of August while in-house production continues. Further changes hinge on upstream price trends. Being less advantaged than vertically integrated companies, some medium sized module makers are considering lowering production and purchase volumes.
Multi-Si cell prices continued rising along with multi-Si wafer price hikes this week, reaching RMB 3.85-3.9/piece. As multi-Si wafer price hikes pervades, prices for multi-Si cells are expected to stay accordingly on an upward trend.
Being overwhelmed by steep hike in midstream and BOM prices, module makers plot to raise prices in recent terms. Price quotes for new M6 glass-backsheet module orders are expected to come in at RMB 1.75-1.79/W, and RMB 1.8-1.82/W for modules with a power output exceeding 500+, testing the acceptance of down sectors. Glass-glass and glass-backsheet modules saw RMB 0.02-0.03/W of price differences for the time being.
Prices for monofacial modules can hardly sustain above RMB 1.8/W, given end users’ limited cost durability after rounds of price hikes from last to this year. Some module makers arranged to extend delivering time to the first quarter of next year. Presently, some re-negotiated projects and new projects in China 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. Prices on the distribution market are expected to see USD 0.01-0.015/W of increases. It is worthy of note that deliveries of long-term orders in overseas market were delayed as well.
Prices for PV glass sat at around RMB 22-23/m2 by far; some small orders were signed at RMB 23-24/m2. Rising production costs propel glass makers to raise prices for new orders in September, hopefully by RMB 2-5/m2, in response to soda crystal and natural gas price hikes. However, sellers and buyers are still negotiating; most major module makers have yet to accept the price revision.