The industry has been watching even more closely at the polysilicon sector. However, buyers and sellers only fulfilled orders previously signed this week. Price negotiations for new round of orders have yet to be initiated, as the two parties remained in standoff.
Despite receiving increasing attentions from the industry, prices of major manufacturers for mono-grade polysilicon saw no distinctive change, sustaining at where previous orders were signed, as price negotiation for new orders have yet to take place. Turmoil lurks behind the seemingly restful market environment, as sellers and buyers held discrepant projections for the latest round of prices.
The industry has reached a consensus on the decline of polysilicon prices, only disagrees on how fast and how significant that decline would be in the future. Price negotiations will remain intense in the first half of December, as substantive negotiations begin.
Leading wafer manufacturers announced official pricings this week, prior to which, signs of actual pricings have been clear. Except for 210mm mono-Si wafers, those for other sizes drop significantly. 166mm mono-Si wafers, despite moving faster away from the mainstream in terms of supply and demand, saw market prices falling to RMB 5.25/piece, with lower price range coming in at around RMB 5.05/piece. Prices for 182mm mono-Si wafers sat mostly under RMB 6.2/piece, with Tier-1 and Tier-2 manufacturers offering slightly inconsistent price quotes.
Mono-Si wafers switched mainstream thickness faster towards 165um. Price quotes for wafers in special spec were mostly based on a thickness of 170um, but have begun to approach 160um, indicating a rapid transition. Price trend of wafers in different sizes was reflected on market price declines.
Cell prices sank a day after the release of prices by leading wafer manufacturers released official pricings. Given wafer price decreases, cell prices may dip by RMB 0.02-0.04/W next week. The market remained in a wait and see mode, with only medium and small-scale module makers making small amounts of purchases.
Average prices for 166mm cells went down to RMB 1.05-1.06/W this week, with low-price range sliding to RMB 1.04-1.05/W, as module production output decreased, and demand sapped. 182mm cells saw prices plunge to RMB 1.1-1.12/W, and even RMB 1.08/W in the low-price range, amid wafer price declines and weak demand in December. 210mm cells, with less buyers, saw few orders being signed this week, sustaining prices at RMB 1.1-1.2/W.
Most multi-Si manufacturers were unable to offer price quotes, owing to sluggish multi-Si demand in India. Doubled with emerging downward price trend, manufacturers appeared rather reserved. As a result, few new orders were signed this week, with prices dropping to RMB 3.5-3.7/piece.
Market trends in the latter part of November continued into December. After wafer prices dropped, end users were more in a wait and see mode. As a result, delivering prices for December tumbled, with prices for 166mm glass-backsheet modules averaging at RMB 1.9-1.95/W, and RMB 1.95-2/W for glass-backsheet modules rated beyond 500 W. However, some module makers sold backlogs at lower prices under inventory pressures. Tier-1 and Tier-2 makers saw RMB 0.01-0.03/W of price differences.
Module demand remains week in December, with some module makers paring back production output estimation. 166mm modules may see prices going down faster, as demand in China shifted to larger formats. Major manufacturers mull dialing back production output for modules rated beyond 500 W in December, as demand shows no sign of recovery.
Price war kicked off, as manufacturers vie to seal orders amid sagging demand, intensifying module price declines in the first quarter next year.
Prices stabilized in overseas markets, with manufacturers mostly delivering orders signed before. As Christmas looms, inventory draws from Europe and the U.S. slowed. End users overseas, having noticed the downward price trend across the supply chain, still sealed orders at USD 0.275-0.28/W for the time being. With regard of the downward price trend, manufacturers anticipate lower prices for next year, which may be as low as USD 0.27 W for the first quarter of 2022.