Buyers and sellers started negotiations this week, but still saw big differences between their price expectations. Sellers wished to check on price declines; they wanted to sustain base period prices for earlier next year, but at the same time, feared to give buyers pause, who aimed for RMB 210-220/kg of prices and had bigger bargaining chips, thanks to rising polysilicon inventory levels amid low utilization rates and increasing new polysilicon supply. Overall, the two parties remained in standoff.
Trading volume was low on the spot market, as most manufacturers are still delivering long-term orders previously signed. The market awaits outcomes of negotiations.
Wafer prices stepped on a downward trend in November. In December, wafer manufacturers receive great inventory pressure, due to sluggish end user demand and low purchase volumes from the cell sector, despite managing to keep utilization rates low and purchase polysilicon at their cheapest.
As year nears end, polysilicon prices have yet to bottom out. To hedge from loss on inventory write-down, wafer manufacturers trimmed down prices to increase sales, and thus depletes some inventories. Afterwards, the degree of wafer price declines hinges solely on that of polysilicon.
Cell manufacturers continued lowering prices. This week, decreased production output and the difficulty in acquiring wafers allowed M6 cells to seal orders at RMB 1.05/W, a mild recovery from RMB 1.03-1.04/W last week. M10 and G12 cells were delivered at RMB 1.08-1.1/W. Given wafer price declines, delivering prices for 182mm cells may drop to RMB 1.06-1.07/W. As demand wraps up, prices level out in the second half of December.
In January 2022, stockpiling activity prior to the Lunar New Year will begin; prices for mono-Si cells are expected to fluctuate in tandem with wafer prices and keep fair profits.
Multi-Si wafer prices dipped last week. However, subject to sapping demand in India, multi-Si cells saw no new order this week, with prices lingering at RMB 3.5/piece, as most manufacturers failed to offer price quotes.
Price negotiations continue across the supply chain in mid-December. Doubled with gloomy demand in the first quarter next year, end users prefer to sit on the fence and observe prices next year.
Demand lose momentum this week as there was no re-initiated project, whilst module inventory returned to normal levels. Against these backdrops, module prices sustained at last week’s levels, with that of 166mm glass-backsheet modules and glass-backsheet modules rated beyond 500 W coming in respectively at RMB 1.85-1.9/W and RMB 1.9-1.95/W. Some manufacturers sold at lower prices this week, driving down low-price range to RMB 1.82/W and RMB 1.85/W.
In overseas markets, prices stabilized for now and will remain so next week, for inventory draws from Europe and the U.S. slowed as Christmas looms.
Prices for 166mm glass-backsheet modules and glass-backsheet modules rated beyond 500 W sat respectively at USD 0.27-0.275/W and USD 0.275-0.28/W for the time being.
The market has been in a wait and see mode; some module makers trimmed down quarterly price forecasts. Given stockpiling activities for Gregorian and Lunar New Year holidays in the first quarter next year, module prices went down slowly, with price quotes for glass-backsheet modules rated beyond 500 W in the first quarter next year coming in at RMB 1.84-1.88/W. Price war kicked off, as manufacturers vie to seal orders amid sagging demand, speeding up module price declines.