Author InfoLink
Updated January 11, 2023


Inventory has been piling up since mid-December, reaching a considerable level by the beginning of 2023 and even higher after the Lunar New Year holiday. Leading polysilicon manufacturers keep high utilization rates, while some Tier-2 and Tier-3 manufacturers may cut production. Still, effective polysilicon production volume will increase as manufacturers keep bringing new production capacities online. 

This week is the last week of stockpiling before the Lunar New Year holiday. Utilization rates of the ingot segment pick up from the previous low point. Both order inquiries and order volume recover. Leading manufacturers see the low-price range of polysilicon prices continue falling.

Given the gap between prices at which orders are delivered and new orders are sealed, and the fact that new quotes have yet to be materialized, spot prices posted by InfoLink will decline a bit slower than price quotes on the market.  

For now, prices vary with purchase volumes amid intensified negotiations. Inquiries and negotiations for bulk orders that help manufacturers deplete inventories will widen the range of actual trading prices.

The reversal of supply-demand relationship and plummeting prices across upstream sectors give rise to new business models and forms of cooperation. Not all leading manufacturers like these changes, but compromises have been made to secure shipment and maintain strategic collaboration with clients in the face of a wafer price rout. Competition has been heating up. In 2023, the gap between prices of Tier-1 and other manufacturers and the divergence of supply will only widen and intensifies faster.


The disordered wafer price decline has come to an end. For 182mm wafers with a thickness of 150μm, the low-price range sustains temporarily at RMB 3.6/piece, whilst the average price drops to RMB 3.7/piece.  Some wafer manufacturers attempt to raise prices, but as of this Wednesday, acceptance of buyers is still limited. 

There is only a week of stockpiling demand left for wafer manufacturers before the Lunar New Year holiday. The inelastic wafer demand is strong, thanks to steady utilization rates of the cell sector. Both order volume and shipping volume pick up. As wafer inventory drops, prices are less likely to decline and will stabilize before the Lunar New Year holiday.

From a supply perspective, wafer supply decreases after the ingot segment trimmed down utilization rates. From a demand perspective, as revenues recover, thanks to stark wafer price decline and economic recovery, buyers may go bottom fishing and resell immediately. 

Given the inelastic demand for stockpiling before the Lunar New Year holiday, wafer shipping volume will increase before the Lunar New Year holiday, despite rainy and snowy weather that disrupts logistics in Northern China and the Covid-19 outbreak. That is to say, wafer supply and demand are benignly contradictory at a time of relatively low utilization rates.

In the long run, the excess supply of “effective” wafer production capacity deepens. A surplus of ingot production capacity is likely, even after phasing out furnaces for wafers in smaller formats. In 2023, striking a balance between utilization rates and prices becomes more of a pressing issue. Supply and product quality of n-type wafers is to be heeded as well.


Cell prices had been on a sharp downward trend. This week, cell prices sustain last week’s level, as module makers stockpile in advance with the anticipation that demand will recover after the Lunar New Year holiday, resulting in cell price hikes. 

This week, both M10 and G12 cells are traded at RMB 0.8/W, and few are traded at even lower prices. 

Cell manufacturers, currently having a bigger say during price negotiations, put forth aggressive price quotes, which are not likely to drop markedly in the short term. Tepid cell demand will remain during January and February. Price trend will be in line with changes in production plans. 


Impacts of the pandemic subside. Still, as the holiday looms, module makers finish off deliveries and seal few new orders. Module prices will not decline significantly until the holiday ends.

This week, orders are mostly delivered at previous price range of RMB 1.75-1.9/W. As for orders signed previously, module makers re-negotiate prices, while delivering few of them at prices higher than RMB 1.9/W.  The low-price range dips lower to around RMB 1.7/W. Trading prices have yet to reach below RMB 1.6/W. Orders to be fulfilled after the holiday will be mostly delivered at RMB 1.65-1.7/W. 

Due to the Lunar New Year holiday, most new orders for the first quarter are not to be delivered until February. For these orders, module makers place price quotes at RMB 1.6-1.7/W, slightly lower than their offers last week.

N-type cell and module

Prices for PERC cells stabilize, whilst low demand this month pressures n-type cell prices. For G12 HJT cells, there isn’t a new price range due to low order volume this week. Some M10 TOPCon cell makers opt for selling p-type and n-type cells at the same price of RMB 0.8-0.95/W. 

Module prices are little changed in January amid low demand. G12 HJT modules see no new quote, with prices sustaining at RMB 2-2.2/W in China and USD 0.275-0.28/W in overseas markets. For M10 TOPCon modules, prices come in at RMB 1.91-1.93/W and USD 0.24-0.25/W.