Mostly signing and delivering long-term orders, the polysilicon sector sees steady order and trading volumes this week. Mainstream prices stay at RMB 240-246/kg. Trading prices for sporadic orders exceed the threshold of RMB 250/kg.
Still, there is no significant fluctuation in the overall price trend.
Polysilicon supply remains stable in March, with only slight increases on levels in February. Manufacturers scheduled line inspections and modifications in recent terms, affecting monthly production output to various degrees.
New production capacities commissioned come online at different paces, with those added earlier hopefully coming fully online by the second quarter.
Utilization rates of ingot facilities surge in the first quarter on levels in the fourth quarter last year, resulting in more polysilicon purchases, depleting inventories accumulated earlier this year.
In the second quarter, the ingot segment’s polysilicon consumption could be higher, driven mostly by production capacities just coming online.
Mono-Si wafers see steady price trend, demand, and shipments, with no dramatic changes for the time being.
Prices come in at RMB 8.85/piece for 210mm wafers with a thickness of 160μm, and at RMB 6.7/piece for the 182mm/165μm format. As production schedules and pricing strategies vary among manufacturers, the 166mm/165μm format, with less of which circulating on the market, sees a wider price range, which sits at around RMB 5.45-5.55/piece. The 166mm/165μm format may secure some market share this year, but with faster declines.
Faced with obstinately high raw material costs, the wafer sector ramps up the development of thinner wafers.
As of the first quarter this year, 182mm wafers advance towards 160μm of thickness; some manufacturers even venture for 155μm of thickness. Meanwhile, 210mm wafers have transitioned from 160μm to 155μm of thickness.
As of this Wednesday, average trading prices for M6, M10, and G12 cells came in at RMB 1.1-1.11/W, RMB 1.13-1.14/W, and RMB 1.14-1.15/W, whilst mainstream prices averaged at RMB 1.10/W, RMB 1.14/W, and RMB 1.15/W, respectively.
Logistic issues and decreased module utilization rates in March stifle cell price hikes. Still holding some wafers in hand, cell manufacturers have yet to cut utilization rates. However, cell inventory may build up in March and April, as subject to logistic bottlenecks and waning purchases from the downstream.
Due to slimmer demand, multi-Si cell prices sustain at RMB 3.75-3.9/piece this week, and USD 0.53-0.55/piece in overseas markets.
From this week onward, average modules prices in China are derived from on delivery prices of the week, namely the weighted average delivery price of distributed, utility-scale, and tender projects. Low prices reflect delivery prices of Tier-2 module makers or prices at which orders were signed previously.
The adjustment is mainly a response to the market condition, where, in the face of high module prices in the first quarter, utility-scale projects in China see some inertia, whereas distributed projects in regions with better profits are well in progress.
The module sector still faces a double whammy of limited end user acceptance and supply chain price hikes. Trading prices for glass-backsheet modules rated beyond 500 W marginally rise to RMB 1.85-1.93/W for distributed projects and sustain at RMB 1.8-1.85/W for utility-scale projects, where orders were signed previously, but with lower order volumes in March. Glass-backsheet modules rated beyond 500 W and their glass-glass counterparts see RMB 0.02-0.04/W of differences in mainstream prices.
Prices temporarily stabilized in overseas markets. In Europe, glass-backsheet modules rated beyond 500 W are delivered at USD 0.265-0.28/W this month. As the euro weakens, prices hit a record high and may upset demand in April if advancing further.
Prices in the U.S. stabilize, sitting at USD 0.32-0.35/W (FOB), but with end users appearing more reserved, considering policy uncertainties.
The Asia-Pacific region sees module prices slip, sitting at USD 0.255-0.27/W for glass-backsheet modules rated beyond 500 W, for demand drops as Indian inventory draws ended. In Australia, module prices stay at USD 0.275-0.29/W.