*InfoLink publishes spot price based on prices at which orders are delivered and new orders signed from Thursday of the previous week to this Wednesday.
Polysilicon supply steadily increases, but demand from the wafer sector shrinks rapidly. Finishing delivering previous orders, some manufacturers find themselves in an awkward situation where there is no new order to take.
Price negotiations between upstream sectors have been escalating since December. Wafer prices plunge, as manufacturers wage price war by cutting pricings lower than each other successively. Polysilicon price declines fail to catch up. Upstream manufacturers seek new ways of cooperation for mutual dependence and stronger business ties, in the face of the complicated and ever-change market landscape.
The range of polysilicon price quotes keeps expanding, given different mindsets of buyers and sellers and inconsistent strategies among polysilicon manufacturers. Tier-2 and Tier-3 manufacturers find it difficult to seal orders even after offering lower pricings. Polysilicon inventory start building up, as turnover ratio drops, pressuring Tier-1 polysilicon manufacturers to varying extents at the of the month onwards.
As the price war begins, M10 wafers see prices plummeting. With Tier-1 manufacturers taking the lead, wafer pricings are revised downwardly every day. Manufacturers cut prices lower than each other aggressively, intensifying the competition.
Mainstream prices for cells come in much lower than previous official pricings of leading manufacturers, showing no sign of stabilizing as demand wanes faster. As of this Wednesday, mainstream prices reached below RMB 5.5/piece for 182mm wafers with a thickness of 150μm, and RMB 7.2/piece for 210mm-150μm ones. InfoLink publishes spot prices based on prices at which orders are delivered, and new orders signed, from Thursday of the previous week to this Wednesday.
Currently, polysilicon price declines have yet to catch up with that of wafers. Therefore, price negotiations in the upstream are not likely to settle in the short term. Even though wafer prices collapse, manufacturers still see wafer inventory rise to an unhealthy level and are forced to cut utilization rates by dwindling demand. Such a disorder will persist until the Chinese Lunar New Year holidays.
The cell sector continues to stage repeated price cuts this week. The sluggish demand from module makers and high utilization rates of cell manufacturers send prices on an extended downward trend. As buyers anticipate lower prices, cells are purchased in small quantities, on a daily basis, at lower and lower prices.
From last Thursday to this Wednesday, orders are delivered at RMB 1.15/W, RMB 1.12-1.17/W, and RMB 1.14-1.17/W for M6, M10, and G12 cells, respectively. Demand for M6 cells mostly comes from overseas markets and scarcely from China. As a result, some M6 cells are traded at prices lower than RMB 1/W in China, underlining the gloomy outlook for special specs.
On this Wednesday, prices came in at RMB 1-1.1/W for M10 and G12 cells, a 10% decline from last week’s level.
If utilization rates sustain, cell prices will drop faster during December and January. The decline will slow down only when demand increases and wafer production decreases.
Demand shrinks rapidly this week. As Christmas looms, deliveries are closing to an end in and out of China. Module makers deplete inventory ahead of sluggish demand and prepare for the year-end settlement. Modules with non-standard power output are undersold at prices lower than RMB 1.7/W.
Module prices are mixed this week, whilst trading volume decreases. Most module makers have finished delivering orders that were signed previously at higher prices. Few orders are delivered at prices higher than RMB 2/W. Glass-backsheet modules rated beyond 500 W are delivered at RMB 1.83-1.98/W, and glass-glass ones at RMB 1.85-1.98/W.
In overseas markets, the price trend looks steady ahead of Christmas. Module prices (FOB) come in at USD 0.235-0.26/W in Europe, USD 0.235-0.245/W in the Asia Pacific region, and USD 0.23-0.245/W in Brazil. Local module prices in India translate to around USD 0.32-0.359/W (FOB). In the U.S., prices slip in line with price declines across the supply chain, coming in at USD 0.4-0.44/W (DDP) for Southeast Asian modules, and USD 0.5-0.58/W (DDP) for locally made modules.
Recent price woes across the supply chain affect new module orders. The market has seen price quotes as low as RMB 1.78-1.88/W and USD 0.22-0.23 for orders to be delivered in the first quarter of next year. The chaotic price trend will persist into next year.
N-type cell and module
Prices drop marginally for n-type cells due to wafer price declines, coming in at RMB 1.3-1.4/W for G12 HJT cells and RMB 1.12-1.25/W for M10 TOPCon cells. Some cell manufacturers sell n-type and p-type cells at the same price level. There are fewer M6 HJT cells on the market, as manufacturers have been modifying production lines of which.
Currently, module prices come in at USD 0.265-0.29/W in overseas markets for M6 HJT modules; RMB 2.05-2.25/W for G12 HJT modules; RMB 1.87-2.05/W and USD 0.26-0.27/W in overseas markets for M10 TOPCon modules.