Supply issue on the spot market is the hot topic this week, especially the increasing supply tightness of mono-grade polysilicon and recycled polysilicon scraps. Due to the faster depletion of previously accumulated inventory, deliveries fall behind anticipation. Contract performance for orders previously signed at a fixed price or quantity varies among manufacturers.
Mainstream prices for mono-grade polysilicon still advance marginally, coming in at RMB 63–68/kg. Major manufacturers offer higher price quotes, of which the range widens. Some may adjust prices for orders previously signed.
Considering the rising cell prices and growing momentum for demand from module makers, who increase production plans, polysilicon prices will experience a slight, short-lived rebound amid slowly climbing supply. However, downstream sectors have limited acceptance of higher prices.
Prices for wafers remained stable this week. Trading prices are little changed, although polysilicon price hikes and efficient wafer inventory depletion, encourage some manufacturers to increase prices. Prices sit at RMB 2.8/piece for M10 p-type and RMB 3.75/piece for G12 ones, with the former maintaining a superior price-performance ratio per watt. For n-type wafers, trading prices come in mostly at RMB 2.9/piece as last week.
Recently, areas including Baotou, Inner Mongolia and Leshan, Sichuan started power rationing, even limiting electricity consumption of the Summer World University Games in Chengdu. Meantime, manufacturers transition to n-type production, suspending the original manufacturing process. Against these backdrops, the actual output is affected. Presently, thanks to the nonoverlapping high-output period of manufacturers, wafer inventory is still at a healthy level, which leads them to lift prices.
Production output will pick up noticeably in August as power supply gradually recovers. If manufacturers maintain current utilization rates, inventory level will rise, while still subject to the n-type production output, module production plans, and end-user demand.
Leading cell manufacturers lift price quotes again, which is RMB 0.74-0.75/W for M10 cells. Still, trading prices remain stable, sitting at RMB 0.73-0.74/W for M10 cells and RMB 0.72/W for G12 cells. For M10 TOPCon cells, prices stabilize at RMB 0.79-0.8/W as last week. N-type cell prices sustain RMB 0.06-0.07/W higher than p-type ones. As for G12 HJT cells, prices remain at RMB 0.9/W.
There is a clear disparity in price trends between M10 PERC cells and modules. Since prices of cells are relatively low, module manufacturers purchase cells proactively, striving to ship the most in the second half of the year. However, they take orders at lower and lower prices, thus have little cost durability for cells. Therefore, cell manufacturers will continue feeling price pressure from module makers.
Module prices sustain less decrease this week. Tier-1 module makers take orders for PERC glass-backsheet modules at RMB 1.28-1.35/W. Most module makers keep prices unchanged. Tier-2 and Tier-3 module makers continue offering lower price quotes at RMB 1.24-1.28/W this week. Some take orders at prices lower than RMB 1.25/W, while some deliver previous orders in the high-price range around RMB 1.4/W. Some distributors offer prices slightly higher than RMB 1.2/W.
The module sector has yet to raise prices successfully due to end-user demand that shows no sign of significant recovery. Module makers may raise distribution prices by RMB 0.01-0.02/W in August, but actual development hinges on end-user demand. Chances for price hikes in the long run are little, for module makers may cut prices to secure orders. Module makers take new orders for August at RMB 1.2-1.28/W, with some even at prices lower than RMB 1.2/W.
Already having little profit margin due to high production costs, module makers can hardly cut prices further. Demand and the impact of power rationing are worthy of note in the third quarter. Brief rallies are possible.
In non-China markets, prices stabilize this week. Chinese exporters deliver products at USD 0.165-0.185/W (FOB) but are poised to lower price quotes. Therefore, delivery prices may reach USD 0.16-0.17/W in August.
In Europe, spot prices come in at EUR 0.165-0.175/W Europe, with modules with black backsheet possessing a premium of EUR 0.02-0.025/W. More modules traded in the low-price range of EUR 0.15-0.16/W as some manufacturers keep selling off inventory. Once in a blue moon, prices in Europe are lower than in the Asia-Pacific market, where prices linger at USD 0.16-0.18/W.
For locally manufactured modules, prices stabilize for the time being. In the U.S., prices will hold steady in the third quarter of the year, but distribution prices of Tier-2 and Tier-3 module makers drag down the low-price range. For India-made modules, prices hold steady for now. Affected by price fluctuation in the U.S., prices for China-made module exports to India drop to USD 0.16-0.17/W, and USD 0.21-0.25/W for module exports from Southeast Asia.
Prices for n-type modules stabilize. Module makers recently deliver G12 HJT modules at RMB 1.5-1.6/W in China and USD 0.197-0.22/W in non-China markets.
For M10 TOPCon modules, prices remain at RMB 1.28-1.5/W this week. In non-China markets, prices hold steady at USD 0.18-0.21/W, with a premium of USD 0.01-0.015/W against prices for PERC modules.