Coming into the latter part of December, sellers and buyers negotiated more actively. Price negotiations remain intense, with larger differences between price expectations of sellers and buyers. Overall, polysilicon prices are sure to decline, with degree of the decline coming into light.
This week began to see a few orders being signed, as some buyers purchased to meet short-term demand for the time being. Obstinately low utilization rates in the ingot segment curbed polysilicon demand. Doubled with firm anticipation for polysilicon prices to drop, buyers were somewhat stalled after considering possibly lower polysilicon prices and loss on inventory write-down.
To date, polysilicon prices have dropped markedly for three successive weeks, coming in at RMB 230-240/kg, with low-price range sinking to RMB 210-215/kg. Supply-demand relationship is to be re-examined as the Lunar New Year looms.
Rapid downward spiral of mono-Si wafers prices has continued for weeks. As inventories depleted faster in the wafer sector, and prices for 182mm wafers plunged out of normal range within a short term, mono-Si wafer prices leveled out this week; 166mm and 182mm wafers in the low-price range even bounced back.
Prices for 166mm wafers slightly rebounded, and then sustained amid tightening supply. 182mm wafers, sitting at RMB 5.4/piece previously, have returned to normal price range recently. Prices for 210mm wafers declined faster and will fluctuate in accordance with size transition trends, as production advanced faster towards 160um of thickness, with more of which being available on the market.
With inventories depleting faster in the wafer sector, and polysilicon price trends becoming clear, prices for mono-Si wafers are expected to stabilize for the time being.
Cell prices ceased declining and saw mild recovery this week. Delivering prices for M6 cells sustained at RMB 1.04-1.05/W this week, as some module makers secured orders ahead of time amid shrinking production output and wafer supply is short. Accordingly, M10 cells were mostly delivered at RMB 1.08/W. Buyers of G12 cells started signing orders this week, with delivering prices reflecting the previous fall, sitting at RMB 1.01-1.08/W.
Cell manufacturers expect M6 and M10 prices to revise up by RMB 0.01-0.02/W. However, the cell sector sees limited rising momentum, given decreasing polysilicon prices will drive down overall prices and rather sluggish demand in January and February in which the Lunar New Year falls. Yet, mono-Si cell prices are expected to fluctuate in tandem with wafer prices and keep fair profits.
Despite last week’s significant drop in multi-Si wafer prices, multi-Si cells saw no new order this week and most manufacturers failed to offer price quotes due to sapping demand in India. Prices lingered at RMB 3.4-3.5/piece. In the future, with less manufacturers producing them, multi-Si cell prices are likely to stabilize.
Demand lost momentum in the second half of December, with no re-initiated project yet. Delivering prices mostly sustained at where they were for previous orders. However, as supply chain prices continued going down, some manufacturers offered price quotes aggressively. Delivering prices varied a lot in the second half of December, coming in at RMB 1.8-1.9/W for 166mm glass-backsheet modules and RMB 1.82-1.95/W for glass-backsheet module rated beyond 500 W. Still, average prices will fluctuate rather slowly as order volumes are low.
In overseas markets, price trend will remain steady 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 bid its time as outlook remained obscured for demand next year. Price expectation of module makers saw huge discrepancy. Evident downward trend was perceived as China opened bids this week, with price quotes for glass-backsheet modules rated beyond 500 W in the first quarter next year coming in at RMB 1.82-1.85/W.