The polysilicon sector focuses on delivering previous orders this week. Some leading manufacturers have sealed new orders, while some are still working on it. Differentiation becomes clear. Polysilicon buyers, with stronger expectations for prices to drop, become more cautious. Meanwhile, wafer manufacturers, pressured by downstream sectors, trim down prices and transmit the pressure onto the polysilicon sector.
As of this Wednesday, prices for mono-grade polysilicon have yet to see significant declines, sitting at RMB 303/kg. Still, the high-price range keeps falling. Price quotes from different manufacturers are increasingly varied, with Tier-2 companies being poised to set prices lower. The role buyers play in the market gradually change as their attitude shift. Negotiations among upstream sectors intensify.
The ingot segment’s inelastic demand for polysilicon is more evident this month, with utilization rates rising steadily. Polysilicon will see demand sustains, underpinning prices. A tipping point of supply-demand relationship in the upstream will occur by the end of the year. Polysilicon will not see prices drop significantly in the short term, but declines are more and more likely.
* Investigation of InfoLink covers polysilicon prices at which orders have been delivered from the previous Thursday to this Wednesday and have been signed recently. We track mainstream prices and provide feedback for the industry. Therefore, changes and future price trend will gradually emerge during periods of higher order volume. Prices for sporadic orders are to be heeded.
Mono-Si wafer prices are little changed, but the low-price range dips for wafers of all formats. Compared with the situation earlier this month, order-signing and shipping activities stabilize this week, given high utilization rates of the cell sector and steady wafer demand. Mainstream price trend seems steady for the time being, but inventory piles quietly up.
Ingot supply keeps increasing as utilization rates steadily rise. The number of downgraded wafers available on the market surges. Prices keep falling for non-a-grade wafers, which may still see sluggish sales, as supply-demand relationship changes, whilst wafer manufacturers pose higher standards on product efficiency and quality.
In the face of increasing sales pressures and changing market landscape, Manufacturers may rearrange terms of business collaboration agreements to improve the circulation of wafers on the market.
Cell supply tightness persists but is not worsened in November. Manufacturers see profit margins recovering as wafer prices slid. This month, given limited price acceptance of the module sector, cell prices are expected to stay elevated with no further price hike.
Cell trading prices are little changed this week, sitting at RMB 1.31/W, RMB 1.35-1.36/W, and RMB 1.34-1.35/W for M6, M10, and G12 cells.
M10 cells see the high-price range reaching RMB 1.38/W, for some clients, in the face of smaller supply available on the market, offer to pay more for rush orders. As a result, cell price gap widens.
Subject to short supply, cell prices will remain high and are not likely to drop along with wafer prices in recent terms. A slow decline will occur as demand wanes sometime during December and January, a typical low season of the year. Still, as the Lunar New Year holiday this time is earlier than usual, module makers may stockpile in advance, affecting cell price trend.
Module prices stabilize in November. For glass-glass modules rated beyond 500 W, prices sustain at RMB 1.95-2.05/W, with RMB 0.01-0.03/W of price differences with glass-backsheet ones. Buyers mostly sign long-term orders for next year to mitigate loss from price fluctuations. In China, orders are mostly delivered at a fixed price throughout the contract period. Recent tenders will be carried out the same way.
Production costs still weigh on module makers. Some of them raise price quotes marginally by RMB 0.02-0.03/W to RMB 1.99-2.07/W, as cost pressures loom. Still, end user acceptance is limited. For utility-scale projects, most orders are delivered at RMB 1.9-1.95/W. Overall, price range widens in the fourth quarter.
Trading activities decrease this week, for projects are slowed down as winter comes. Therefore, there is no rush for module makers to deliver before the installation deadline at the end of the year. Installation schedules are vague. Recent rumors suggest module prices drop at the installation deadline early next year.
In overseas markets, average module prices stabilize at USD 0.25-0.265/W. Module prices (FOB) sit at USD 0.25-0.28/W in Europe, USD 0.245-0.255/W in the Asia Pacific region, and USD 0.245-0.255/W in Brazil. Local module prices in India translate to around USD 0.32-0.36/W (FOB). In the U.S., prices (DDP) come in at USD 0.41-0.44/W for Southeast Asian modules, and USD 0.5-0.6/W (DDP) for locally made modules.
N-type cell and module
This week, prices remain at last week’s level. The market has yet to see mainstream prices for n-type products. Whether new column for price quotes will be added depends on the mass production activities of all manufacturers in Q4.
Sales of n-type cells are mainly purchased for in-house capacities, and only few are external sales. Prices sustain at RMB 1.45-1.6/W for M6 HJT cells and sit at RMB 1.41-1.45/W for M10 and G12 TOPCon cells.
Module prices come in at RMB 2.1-2.2/W and USD 0.28-0.3/W in overseas markets for M6 HJT modules; RMB 2.2-2.4/W for G12 HJT modules; RMB 2.03-2.1/W and USD 0.27-0.28/W in overseas markets for M10 and G12 TOPCon modules.