*Spot price updates will be temporarily suspended next week and resumed on October 11 due to the Chinese National Day holiday.
The National Day holiday is around the corner. This week, polysilicon manufacturers take many new orders, while several of them deliver previous orders. Price quotes start to vary for the first time in the third quarter, with those from leading manufacturers edging up, while those of Tier-2 and Tier-3 manufacturers remain at previous levels or even decrease marginally. Still, prices have yet to fall, factoring in those at which manufacturers took orders previously and delivering currently. This week, average prices for mono-grade polysilicon advance marginally to RMB 87/kg, a 2.4% week-on-week growth.
As of the last week of September, polysilicon manufacturers keep putting off deliveries as supply still runs short. Buyers press polysilicon manufacturers more urgently, fearing prices will decline in the fourth quarter.
After cell prices took a downward turn, wafer prices have plunged, posing a new challenge to polysilicon prices. Polysilicon prices sustain a steady upward trend while under pressure from module prices closing in on the break-even point. Given polysilicon production capacity and the room for further increases, the market expects polysilicon prices to go down at the end of October.
At the end of September, Zhonghuan and Longi updated their price quotes to RMB 3.1/piece for M10 wafers and RMB 4.08/piece for G12 ones. The mainstream trading price range came into shape this week, showing declines again before the National Day holiday.
Prices fall for wafers of all formats this week. For p-type wafers, prices sit at RMB 3.08-3.1/piece for M10 ones and RMB 4.08-4.1 for G12 ones. Some manufacturers see the low-price range for M10 wafers reaching RMB 3.04/piece or below. For n-type wafers, prices come in at RMB 3.18-3.2/piece for M10 wafers. Given that G12 wafers are made-to-order products, which have a narrower trading price range, prices come in at RMB 4.2/piece.
At the end of the month, wafer prices drop continually as production volume increases, piling up inventory. Future development after the National Day holiday is unclear. Though growing supply will lead to further price declines, the key lies in changes in production plans after the holiday. Some manufacturers are purportedly cutting production plans. By then, wafer price trend will hinge on factors such as the scale of production cuts, cell production plans, and polysilicon prices.
With TOPCon cell capacities coming online, low-efficiency cells and testing cells are flooding the market. As inventory levels rise, trading prices continue to dip.
Trading prices slump this week. Prices for p-type M10 cells plummeted 8-9% from last week’s level to RMB 0.63-0.65/W, with the low-price range still falling, widening the overall price range. The market has heard price quotes lower than RMB 0.73/W as of this Wednesday. For p-type G12 cells, prices come in at RMB 0.7/M, with milder declines than M10 ones thanks to a relatively stable supply.
For n-type cells, M10 TOPCon cell prices decline by 4-5% to RMB 0.68-0.7/W. N-type cell prices are RMB 0.05-0.07/W higher than p-type ones. G12 HJT cells, mostly for in-house use and less for external sales, see prices stabilize.
The continuous price decline of wafers and cells partially soothes cost pressures for module makers. However, it also allows room for module prices to retreat further, much less when the module sector still has an unclear outlook for end-user demand in the fourth quarter. Price declines after the National Day holiday or later are subject to whether demand and production plans will pick up after the holiday.
Module prices stabilize temporarily this week. Manufacturers keep selling off products at the low-price range, affecting forward prices. The fourth quarter is forthcoming, but demand shows no sign of recovery. There will be three to eight days of holidays in October, but leading module makers are not taking those days off, keeping monthly production above 50 GW. Therefore, prices are likely to go down due to an oversupply and lackluster demand. Recently, end users return to a holding pattern due to marginal price drops in midstream sectors. Average prices for glass-backsheet modules come in at RMB 1.2-1.22/W this week, with those of Tier-2 and Tier-3 manufacturers at RMB 1.2-1.21/W. Tier-1 manufacturers take new orders at RMB 1.18-1.2/W.
In non-China market, prices stabilize this week but will also see changes in the following period. Chinese exporters deliver products at USD 0.14-0.155/W (FOB). In Asia-Pacific, module makers deliver at USD 0.14-0.15/W. In India, prices for local modules come in at USD 0.25/W. In Europe, spot prices come in at EUR 0.14-0.15/W, with modules with black backsheets possessing a premium of EUR 0.01-0.02/W. With orders signed prior to deliveries, modules for ground-mounted projects in the U.S. see prices hold steady at USD 0.38-0.4/W (DDP). Presently, the price disparity between modules for ground-mounted projects and distributed generation projects is rather huge, sitting at USD 0.3-0.4/W (DDP).
For TOPCon n-type modules, prices stay at RMB 1.21-1.35/W, with the price difference with PERC ones narrowing to RMB 0.05-0.08/W. In non-China markets, TOPCon modules possess a premium of USD 0.008-0.01/W against PERC ones.
For HJT modules, prices are little changed, sitting at RMB 1.4-1.55/W in China, RMB 1.35-1.4/W for spot inventory and RMB 1.35-1.38/W for low-efficiency modules. In non-China markets, HJT module prices stabilize at USD 0.195-0.2/W.