All eyes are on the ceaseless polysilicon price hikes in the first half of the year, as the year reaches its halfway mark.
New polysilicon production capacities come online successively, but the shortage shows no sign of easing, given the leisurely pace effective production volume increases.
To add to that, an accident on June 16 forced leading polysilicon manufacturers to cease production for line inspections, tapping the brake on the already slow increase of polysilicon supply.
The growth of polysilicon supply will face hurdles, as northern China welcomes warmer weather, and some polysilicon makers undergo line maintenance and safety inspections. In July, polysilicon supply will hardly increase, weighing more on downstream buyers.
Few new orders are sealed this week, as sellers and buyers focus on deliveries of those previously signed. From both two parties, some major manufacturers still sit on the fence without exchanging price quotes. Still, prices are sure to go up, only to what extent remains uncertain.
Leading wafer manufacturer Zhonghuan released official pricings on July 24. Thicknesses of p-type wafers in all sizes are reduced to 150-155μm. Prices for 182mm mono-Si wafers with a thickness of 155μm are revised upwardly by RMB 0.44/piece to RMB 7.25/piece, a 6.4% increase. The 210mm/155μm format sees prices reaching RMB 9.55/piece, up by RMB 0.50/piece, a 5.5% increase. Zhonghuan’s adjustment this time is bigger than previous ones.
Market sentiment is subtle and tense in wafer and midstream sectors. To date, Tier-2 wafer manufacturers are still in a holding pattern, suspending several deliveries, except those of rush orders. Some deliveries continue, as long as buyers agree to possible price adjustments in the future. Overall, manufacturers are in a wait-and-see mode.
Market awaits as Longi has yet to confirm its mono-Si wafer pricings.
Official pricings of cells remain obscure as manufacturers wait with bated breaths for wafer prices to settle. As a result, cell trading prices stagnate this week, as low trading volume fails to support price hikes for the time being.
Manufacturers are reluctant to sell, with most of them stopping offering price quotes and ceasing shipping, except for some orders previously signed. A few manufacturers continue delivering, but with prices unsettled or subject to renegotiations in the future.
Trading volume is low this week. Both high and low-price ranges markedly rise, suggesting possible price hikes. Trading prices for M6, M10, and G12 cells come in at RMB 1.17-1.18/W, RMB 1.2-1.26/W, and RMB 1.17-1.18/W, respectively. Multi-Si cell prices stabilize, sitting at RMB 4.25-4.45/piece, and USD 0.57-0.59/piece in overseas markets.
Presently, there are at least 4-6% of increases in price quotes for p-type wafers. Cell manufacturers expect to see rising wafer prices underpin price hikes of cells in all formats. Price quotes for M10 cells markedly climb, increasing by RMB 0.05-0.07/W for the time being.
Module makers stop delivering for two to five days this week, upon the audit of semi-annual financial statements at the end of June and given fluctuations of supply chain prices that build up pressure in the module sector. For now, delivering prices stalls at RMB 1.86-1.97/W for glass-backsheet modules rated beyond 500 W, and RMB 1.88-1.99/W for their glass-glass counterparts. (Inland shipping costs excluded).
Module makers slightly adjusted price quotes for July, revising upwardly by around 0.02-0.05/W. However, end users can hardly give in. As lofty module prices put off project initiations, utilization rates in July may be affected. Overall, demand in July and August hinges on upstream price trends.
Prices stabilize in overseas markets for now. The Asia-Pacific market sees prices sitting at USD 0.26-0.27/W (FOB). In Australia, prices are poised to rise on recovering demand.
In Europe, prices for glass-backsheet modules rated beyond 500 W sustain at USD 0.265-0.275/W and come in at USD 0.28-0.3/W on the spot market.
July and August used to be the low season of European market. However, this year sees unwavering demand. Prices may rise by EUR 0.01-0.02/W for distributed projects and stay at USD 0.27-0.28/W for utility-scale projects.
N-type cell and module
Prices see no evident changes as the market has yet to see many price quotes for n-type products. As production costs surge across supply chain, n-type products may see marginal price increases recently. G12 HJT modules will be available by July or August.
Prices for M6 HJT cells sit at around RMB 1.3-1.45/W.
M10 and G12 TOPCon cells have not seen much trading by far, mostly purchased for in-house capacities, with prices coming in at RMB 1.25-1.27/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 0.285-0.33 in overseas markets.
M10 and G12 TOPCon module prices stay where they were last week, at RMB 2-2.05/W, and USD 0.28-0.3/W in overseas markets.