In the upstream, polysilicon supply remains short, as disproportion with demand persists. The spot market sees polysilicon shortage, and thus grim order deliveries. Supply chain disruptions have yet to get effective relief. Buyers and sellers are still caught in deadlocks.
Trading prices for mono-grade polysilicon advance further, coming in at RMB 255-260/kg, whilst recycled polysilicon scrap is traded at RMB 258-266/kg slightly higher. Polysilicon from outside of China enjoys premiums.
Production volume has increased 16% this month, compared with levels in January. Monthly production volume may reach beyond 70,000 MT in June.
The upward price trend continues and will not end in the short term, given stronger end user demand and disproportionate supply-demand relationship caused by exceedingly fast capacity expansion of ingot facilities. Still, room for further advances in the high-price range narrow, as polysilicon production volume is likely to increase faster.
Differences between prices for polysilicon in China and overseas are set to enlarge, thanks to the latter’s characteristics, advantages, and seemingly rare production capacity increases in recent terms.
As of this week, mainstream prices for mono-Si wafers plateau. Leading manufacturers offer price quotes slightly higher than Tier-2 players. Given weakening rising momentum, prices will sustain in June and slip for some large format wafers. Trading activities increase and appear more active in recent terms.
Severe challenges welcome new ingot manufacturers, as obstinately high polysilicon prices put the ingot segment off operating at full capacity, taking tolls on production costs. Larger-format mono-Si wafers see production volume increase monthly. In the quest of lower production costs, wafer thickness declines faster than expected. 210mm wafers are expected to see thickness reduce to 155um, and 182mm to 155-160μm, by the end of the second quarter.
*Note: Impacts dramatical fluctuations in the USD/RMB exchange rates have on mono-Si wafer prices take time to emerge, while downstream sectors have responded immediately.
The cell sector sees escalating pressures from the downstream this week, as some module makers, with no cell inventory in hand, remain in standoffs.
Cell prices stabilize this week. M10, M10, and G12 cells are traded at RMB 1.1-1.15/W, RMB 1.17-1.2/W, and RMB 1.16-1.18/W, respectively. In overseas markets, M6 cells see the low-price range rising towards average, as trading activities decrease.
Multi-Si cell prices were little changed at RMB 4.2-4.5/piece, and USD 0.57-0.59/piece in overseas markets.
Negotiations are drawing to an end. Cells in mainstream formats will see prices picking up in the first half of June. However, as end users keep weighing on the cell sector, and upstream supply slowly increases, cell price hike is about to reach its limit. Further price trends hinge on official wafer prices to be published by the end of the month.
End users have grown to accept module prices slightly higher than RMB 1.9/W. In May, new orders are delivered at RMB 1.9-1.93/W for concentrated projects, and RMB 1.93-1.95/W for distributed projects, with RMB 0.02-0.04/W of differences between glass-glass modules rated beyond 500 W and their glass-backsheet counterparts. As for the low-price range, centralized and distributed projects see some previous orders being delivered at RMB 1.88-1.9/W and RMB 1.92-1.93/W, respectively.
Price quotes for modules rated beyond 500 W continue rising, reaching beyond RMB 1.95/W. For now, new orders are scant, as buyers and sellers remain in standoffs. Tenders are settled, but details remain scant on actual construction timelines. Given that, the market appears more reserved. Sales people reported low order volumes and some orders being canceled.
Lofty module prices cast uncertainty over demand in the second quarter. Possible inverter shortage is to be heeded, for it can affect annual module demand.
Prices stabilize for the time being in overseas markets, with small fluctuations in accordance with the dollar. The Asia-Pacific region seals some orders for the second and third quarter at USD 0.265-0.27/W (FOB). In Europe, prices for mono-Si modules rated beyond 500 W come in at USD 0.27-0.28/W, and above USD 0.28-0.30/W on the spot market.
N-type cell and module
Prices see no evident changes as the market has yet to see many price quotes for n-type products. Prices for M6 HJT cells sit at around RMB 1.3-1.35/W.
M10 and G12 TOPCon cells have not seen much trading by far, with prices coming in at RMB 1.2-1.25/W for the time being.
Module prices sustain this week, coming in at RMB 2.1-2.15/W for M6 HJT modules, and USD 0.28-0.33 in overseas markets.
M10 and G12 TOPCon module prices stay where they were last week, at RMB 1.99-2.05/W, and USD 0.28-0.3/W in overseas markets.