Production capacities of most polysilicon manufacturers have all been booked previously. This week, the market only saw a few rush orders and sporadic orders, with the latter being signed at prices approaching to RMB 215/kg. Having no inventories left to sell, polysilicon will not see evident price fluctuations until the end of the month. By then, prices for polysilicon may go up marginally, given anticipation of stockpiling prior to the National Day holiday and the increasing wafer prices.
On September 14, leading mono-Si wafer manufacturer Longi raised official pricings markedly above market expectations, with prices for G1, M6, and M10 wafers with a thickness of 170μm coming in respectively at RMB 5.24/piece (USD 0.717/piece), RMB 5.34/piece (USD 0.731/piece), and RMB 6.41/piece (USD 0.877/piece). Prices for G1 and M6 wafers rose by RMB 0.25/piece from levels of same period last month, whilst M10 wafer prices were up by RMB 0.3/piece, a 5% increase.
Medium-sized wafer manufacturers wished to follow suit. However, as cell and module price hikes have reached the limit, the market has not yet accepted Longi’s new pricings, at which no orders have been signed, with the two parties still negotiating this week. Presently, the market is concerned over the impact wafer and BOM price hikes may have on end user module demand, and thus appeared even more reserved.
The previously steep price hikes for multi-Si wafers have reversed since last week, with trading prices in China dropping marginally to RMB 2.25-2.35/piece, as purchase volumes of the cell sector declined, whilst demand for multi-Si wafers began to slow. Overseas markets have seen no changes by far.
As polysilicon prices remained on a slow upward trend, whilst prices for mono-Si wafers markedly rose, multi-Si wafer manufacturers awaited possible chances to raise prices again. As a result, the market saw a rather chaotic price range in recent terms.
This week, leading wafer manufacturers revised pricings, with that of M6 and M10 wafer rising by RMB 0.25/piece and RMB 0.3/piece, respectively, indicating RMB 0.04/piece of increase in cell production costs. Cell manufacturers ceased delivering temporarily, in anticipation of higher production costs. Few new orders were signed for the time being.
Up to this Wednesday, prices for mono-Si cells averaged at levels of last week, with 158.75mm cell prices sustaining at RMB 1.08-1.15/W, whilst prices for 166mm cells sat at RMB 1.04-1.06/W, 182mm at RMB 1.04-1.065/W, and 210mm at RMB 1-1.04/W.
Cell manufacturers have been negotiating for higher price quotes, hoping to revise them upwardly by RMB 0.02-0.04/W, in response to wafer price hikes. Presently, price quotes of each cell makers appeared dispersed, with prices for M6 cells coming in at RMB 1.07-1.09/W, and M10 cells at RMB 1.09-1.1/W. However, cell prices as high as RMB 1.05/W were accepted only by medium and small-sized module makers, whilst most vertically integrated companies were found to reject. The cell sector is expected to see limited rooms for further price hikes and may reduce production volume in October.
This week, prices for multi-Si cells remained at RMB 3.8-3.9/piece, with low point slightly rising. Given difficulties in acquiring multi-Si wafers, future price trend required further observations.
The module sector saw profits suffer critically amid rising production costs. Continuous polysilicon and wafer price increases, doubled with EVA price hikes reportedly greater than 20%, posed intensifying cost pressures to the module sector. Module BOM costs rose by RMB 0.04/W, as compared to levels in July. Module makers may see lower-than-expected utilization rates in October, given skyrocketing production costs and EVA raw material shortage.
Module price hikes were stalling. Early in September, prices for M6 glass-backsheet modules and glass-backsheet modules with a power output exceeding 500 W only rose marginally to RMB 1.75-1.8/W and RMB 1.8-1.83/W, respectively. Prices in overseas markets stabilized at current levels, with that for M6 modules averaging at USD 0.23-0.242/W, and M10 at USD 0.24-0.245/W. Presently, no order has been signed, given end users’ limited cost durability.