Polysilicon prices stay on a week-on-week decline, coming in at RMB 200-220/kg. Backlogs and deliveries of high-priced polysilicon decrease. Meantime, the low-price range approaches RMB 190/kg as the wafer sector pressures Tier-2 and Tier-3 manufacturers. The gap widens between prices of leading manufacturers and their Tier-2, Tier-3 peers. Buying activity slows down.
Polysilicon inventory is depleted at a slower pace. Given the existing backlogs and sales pressure, more and more polysilicon manufacturers relent, leaving wiggle room for price negotiations. Overall, the sector will gradually return to a rational and standard trading pattern, but a significant decline is not likely in the short term.
Mono-Si wafer price trend varies again among different formats. Prices for 182mm wafers with a thickness of 150μm rise 1.1% week-on-week to RMB 6.4-6.5/piece, largely due to marked price hikes from all manufacturers, including the two major ones, who had resolved the previous discrepancy between their pricing strategies. Prices for 210mm-150μm wafers remain unchanged. With current price level, 210mm-150μm wafers see a better price-performance ratio per watt.
Delivery and production are not as smooth as manufacturers expected after the Lunar New Year holiday. Doubled with leading manufacturers’ higher self-sufficient ratio of leading manufacturers, external sales volume decreases, and the number of wafers available on the spot market increases slowly. In the cell sector, manufacturers adjust utilization rates amid tightening wafer supply. Cell manufacturers face a dilemma, as the module sector has limited acceptance for cell price increases, while wafer prices show no sign of marked decline this month.
Given limited acceptance of the module sector, cell prices are unchanged, despite marginal price increases from Zhonghuan this week. G12 cells are more expensive than M10 ones due to short supply. The shortage can be attributed to two reasons. First, developers will start taking modules in April. As the date of delivery nears, module makers’ demand increases for both M10 and G12 cells. Second, the market is in pursuit of higher efficiency and higher power output. Therefore, when the supply of M10 high-efficiency cells fails to meet demand, customers redirect turn to G12 ones. However, G12 cell supply has yet to increase effectively, thus running short in recent terms.
Cell trading prices stay at RMB 1.07-1.09/W for M10 cells, and RMB 1.1/W for G12 ones this week. Prices in dollar terms remain to sit at RMB 0.03-0.04/W higher.
N-type cell prices stay elevated, sitting at RMB 1.2-1.22/W for M10 TOPCon cells, with a premium of RMB 0.12-0.14/W against p-type cells. For G12 HJT cells, most orders come from markets outside of China. Since the new technology is still in an early stage of promotion, module makers make small concessions this week, placing prices at RMB 1.3-1.4/W. N-type cell supply will increase further as more and more manufacturers prepare TOPCon production capacity for external sales.
In anticipation of a bullish demand, module makers raise utilization rates for April to 37-39 GW. Subject to limited end-user acceptance, module prices in China and abroad stabilize recently. For modules rated beyond 500 W, prices come in at RMB 1.7-1.73/W, with the low-price range sitting at RMB 1.65-1.68/W. The high-price range slip as deliveries at RMB 1.8/W draw to their ends.
Overall, module prices are set to decline marginally amid intensifying competition. Tenders indicate a downward price trend in the second half of the year. The pressure to reduce prices will gradually ripple through upstream sectors.
In overseas markets, module prices stabilize at USD 0.2-0.225/W (FOB). Europe sees prices sustaining at USD 0.21-0.225/W as demand shows signs of recovering this month. In Australia, prices sit at USD 0.21-0.255/W in recent terms. In the Middle East and Africa, prices remain at USD 0.21-0.22/W this week. For modules locally made in India, prices slip to USD 0.29-0.33/W due to imports from China.
N-type modules see prices drop marginally this week. For G12 HJT modules, prices come in at RMB 1.9-.95/W, while holding at USD 0.26/W in non-China markets. In China, some module makers adjust the premium of HJT modules against PERC modules.
M10 TOPCon modules see prices adjusted to RMB 1.77-1.85/W this week due to order signing activity. Module makers seal orders for the second quarter at RMB 1.77-1.8/W. In non-China markets, prices sustain at USD 0.235/W. Wafer and cell shortages keep pressuring n-type module makers.