The new year began with new production capacities being commissioned successively. Supply volume added per month increased slightly on last month’s level, but it still takes some time for new capacity to come fully online.
Overall, prices declined slower this week. Buyers and sellers continued bargaining, and price negotiations intensifying. Mono-grade polysilicon saw mainstream prices fall slowly to RMB 223-234/kg, with discrepancies among trading prices of leading manufacturers. Some orders were sealed at even lower price range. As big buyers put brakes on purchases, whilst wafer prices recovered and profits stopped falling, the downward trend of mainstream polysilicon prices will temporarily cease this month and lose momentum until the Lunar New Year comes.
Wafer prices fluctuated this week, as bolstered by downstream demand, temporarily concentrated demand for wafers, and faster inventory depletion across the supply chain.
Prices for wafers of specific sizes slightly picked up. After 166mm mono-Si wafers with 165um of thickness saw prices marginally rebound, mainstream trading prices for 182mm mono-Si wafers with 165um of thickness mounted, from RMB 5.7/piece to RMB 5.8-5.85/piece, with some price quotes ranging between RMB 5.85-5.9/piece being heard on the spot market.
Previously, low utilization rates sent supply volume growth into a period of inertia, whilst wafer undersold catalyzed the depletion of backlogs. Given that and the time it takes for ingot facilities’ utilization rates to rise, not much of mono-Si wafers are available on the market for the time being. A rather stable price trend will return for mono-Si wafers after production capacity and supply volumes increase.
Cell utilization rates rose to 60-70% for January. The cell sector’s increasing demand pushed up wafer prices, in accordance with which, cell makers are poised to raise cell prices, hopefully by RMB 0.01-0.02/W for M6, M10, and G12 cells.
This week, prices remained stable. M6 cells saw prices sustained at RMB 1.05/W, whilst M10 cells were delivered at RMB 1.07-1.08/W. Prices for G12 cells stayed where they were last week, coming in at RMB 1.035/W, as subject to of wafer thickness adjustments.
Negotiations for new round of orders continued. Cell prices may not rise markedly, as RMB 1.08/W of prices already put off purchases from module makers. For now, mono-Si cells are expected to see prices fluctuate in tandem with wafer price trend, sustaining profits at a certain level.
Prices for multi-Si cells stood firmly at RMB 3.5/piece this week and started to show signs of rising, given potential increases in multi-Si wafer prices, decreasing amount of multi-Si cell makers, and stronger inventory draws from India.
This week, following the end of New Year’s holiday, delivering prices mostly sustained at where they were for previous orders. Chinese Tier-1 module makers and their Tier-2 counterparts each delivered orders for 166mm glass-backsheet modules at RMB 1.85-1.88/W and RMB 1.79-1.85/W; RMB 1.88-1.92/W and RMB 1.81-1.85/W for glass-backsheet modules rated beyond 500 W. Module prices are stable for the time being as polysilicon supply stabilizes.
Prices stabilized in overseas markets, whilst European and Indian demand increased for the first quarter. Prices saw not much of change this week, sitting at USD 0.27-0.275/W for 166mm glass-backsheet modules, and USD 0.275-0.28/W for glass-backsheet module rated beyond 500 W.