Polysilicon price movement receives increasingly high attention, with the industry waiting for prices to settle. As a new round of negotiations for new orders unveiled, the market saw persistent disputes over the pace and degree of polysilicon price decreases between buyers and sellers.
The two sides are haggling over prices. Given wafer makers are still running at relatively low utilization rates, production demand throughout January and even post-Lunar New Year should be factored in for the price and volume of new orders.
It’s expected that the real trading prices of polysilicon won’t be clear until after deals are closed in negotiations in mid-to-late December. Prices are likely to fall notably this month compared with previous levels.
The mainstream thickness of mono-Si wafers has basically switched to 165μm. While quotes for larger formats are mostly based on 170μm, manufacturers are speeding up their switch to the ambitious thickness of 160μm. However, market acceptance of such thickness remains to be testified.
Zhonghuan released prices on Dec. 2, which include prices for 182mm wafers of different thickness variants and that for 218.2mm, which came as a surprise to the industry. The new size certainly attracted wide attention.
The latest wafer prices reflect the degree of price cut for different thicknesses. The mainstream trading prices for 182mm wafers fell below RMB 6/piece. Prices for 182mm wafers are rather chaotic, with the low-price range saw RMB 5.6/piece, according to sources from the market. Prices for other formats also saw dramatic change, with that for 210mm wafers with 170μm falling to RMB 8.55/piece, and the market share of such format will face bigger challenge in 2022.
Wafer prices dropped rapidly, leading to price increases in cells. This well, orders for M6-sized cells were delivered at RMB 1.03-1.04/W, while that for M10 and G12-sized cells sat at RMB 1.1/W. Considering current downward price trend, new orders signed for delivery next week will see RMB 0.02/W of decrease, coming in at RMB 1.01-1.03/W, RMB 1.08-1.09/W, and RMB 1.09/W for the M6, M10, and G12 format, respectively. Overall, mono-Si cell prices will decline throughout December due to lowered utilization rates among module makers.
Most multi-Si manufacturers are unable to offer quotes thanks to weak demand in India. This week, prices were lowered to RMB 3.5/piece, with few new orders being signed.
End users continue to bide their time, as prices declined across the supply chain this month. This week, prices in China continue to fall, with 166mm glass-backsheet modules delivered at RMB 1.85-1.9/W. Glass-backsheet modules rated beyond 500 W were delivered at RMB 1.9-1.95/W, but some manufacturers undersold modules to ease inventory pressure, offering prices as low as RMB 1.87.188/W at the low-price range.
Demand for module will remain weak throughout the month. Quite a few module makers revised down production output for December. To grab orders amid sluggish demand, price war has begun and will likely drag down module prices further in the first quarter of 2022.
Prices in overseas markets are stable for now. Manufacturers are carrying out previous orders, while inventory draw in Europe and the U.S. slowed as the Christmas holiday approaches. End users overseas are aware of the price downward trend in the supply chain. While orders were still delivered at USD 0.275-0.28/W, price decreases will force manufacturers to adjust prices for next year, which may come down to USD 0.265-0.27/W.