Negotiations and order signing activities are intense as the month ends. Overall, prices increase marginally.
Mainstream prices for mono-grade polysilicon come in at RMB 242-247/kg, averaging higher at RMB 245/kg. Prices for recycled polysilicon scrap sit slightly higher, and other polysilicon slightly lower. As polysilicon consumptions of ingot manufacturers vary, polysilicon costs will see small differences.
New polysilicon production capacities are commissioned successively. However, the growth of actual production volume is limited and slow. Add to that some polysilicon manufacturers scheduled line inspections in recent terms, affecting production volumes to different degrees.
In April, polysilicon supply will still be tight against demand from the ingot segment, whilst prices stay elevated, provided with steady, even slightly increasing, utilization rates of ingot facilities.
Locations of ingot facilities are relatively concentrated. Pandemic outbreaks and stricter restrictions in several regions ¬mount logistic challenges and cast uncertainties on delivery schedules, dealing a blow to wafer manufacturers.
On March 25, Longi posted new pricings. Prices were unchanged for 182mm wafers with a thickness of 165μm and revised upwardly for the 166mm/165μm format and other smaller formats.
The 166mm/165μm format, with less of which circulating on the market, sees prices sitting at around RMB 5.51-5.58/piece. The format will 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 end of first quarter, 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. In the second quarter, manufacturers will put more efforts into developing thinner n-type wafers.
Due to limited downstream acceptance, cell prices stay at last week’s levels this week. As of this Wednesday, trading prices for M6 and M10 cells came in at RMB 1.08-1.11/W and RMB 1.13-1.15/W, respectively. G12 cells saw lower trading volumes this week, with prices sitting at RMB 1.14-1.17/W. For cells in these three formats, prices averaged at RMB 1.1/W, RMB 1.14/W, and RMB 1.15/W.
Cell manufacturers are poised to raise prices this week. Despite wafer manufacturers releasing April pricings last week, revising prices for G1 and M6 wafers upwardly by RMB 0.1/W. Still, G1 and M6 cell prices can hardly inch further, for smaller formats are now special specs, of which demand has waned.
For now, cell manufacturers manage to sustain profits of mainstream formats. As the pandemic disrupts logistics, and with wafer shortages, price quotes for M10 cells come in higher at RMB 1.15/W this week.
Cell and module sectors are still negotiating, with prices stagnating in the short term, for current price levels are closing in on the acceptance of module makers. With prices staying elevated, G12 cells see such a stand-off as well.
Multi-Si cell prices sustain at last week’s level amid lower demand this week, sitting at RMB 3.65-3.8/piece and USD 0.52-0.54/piece in overseas markets.
Few orders are delivered this week, as the pandemic-induced logistic logjam makes it difficult for end users to access modules. 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 sustain at RMB 1.86-1.93/W for distributed projects and at RMB 1.83-1.85/W for utility-scale projects, where orders were signed previously. Still, order volumes in March are low.
Inventory draw from utility-scale projects is weak.
Only distributed projects in regions with better revenues purchase in small volumes. Glass-backsheet modules rated beyond 500 W and their glass-glass counterparts see RMB 0.02-0.04/W of differences in mainstream prices.
In Europe, delivering prices mildly increase. Glass-backsheet modules rated beyond 500 W are delivered at USD 0.27-0.275/W this month, whilst spot prices come in at RMB 0.275-0.28/W.
The Asia-Pacific region sees module prices stabilize for the time being, sitting at USD 0.26-0.266/W for glass-backsheet modules rated beyond 500 W. In Australia, module prices come in at USD 0.275-0.29/W.
On March 29, the U.S. Department of Commerce decided to launch anti-circumvention investigation. Some module makers have started filling out the requested questionnaire by far. Uncertainties immediately cloud deliveries for U.S. orders in April.
Things are worse for production capacities based in Southeast Asia, where manufacturers plan to reduce or suspend production, with utilization rates sitting at 20-80% in April.
Manufacturers still deliver some U.S.-exporting orders at USD 0.32-0.35/W (FOB) for the time being. In the future, Southeast Asia-based manufacturers will transfer orders to other regions, such as Europe and Canada.