Polysilicon manufacturers have been taking new orders, but order volumes are relatively small. Manufacturers, including leading companies, offered much lower price quotes. Mainstream prices declined to RMB 67-75/kg. Manufacturers remained in a stalemate with buyers. Price quotes from Tier-2 companies and new entrants dropped to RMB 61-68/kg, widening the price gap with Tier-1 manufacturers. Overall, negotiation will remain intense in early November.
Most manufacturers have finished delivering previous orders. However, some orders were pending due to price disputes and requests for price adjustments, requiring further negotiation.
Polysilicon production capacity will continue its month-on-month increase in November. However, there is uncertainty around how much of the new capacities will be “effective” capacities. Despite overall capacity growth, it remains questionable how much the new capacities released by Tier-2 and Tier-3 manufacturers will contribute to the total “effective” capacity.
As of October, inventory built up gradually relative to an ideal turnover ratio. Significant accumulation is likely in mid-November.
The wafer sector depleted inventory efficiently in the latter part of October, thanks to price plunges and production cuts. Currently, wafer inventory level equals one week's production. However, Tier-1 manufacturers still strive to sustain prices against rapid declines across the supply chain, resulting in varying paces of inventory depletion among manufacturers.
This week, wafer trading prices continued to decline, coming in at RMB 2.3-2.4/piece and RMB 3.3-3.4/piece for p-type M10 and G12 wafers, respectively, down 1-6%. For n-type M10 wafers, prices sit at RMB 2.4-2.55/piece. Prices for full-cut n-type G12 wafers lingered around RMB 3.5/piece due to industry concentration and poor bargaining power of buyers.
Noteworthily, price quotes started to show disparity among manufacturers. While Tier-1 manufacturers maintained higher prices, Tier-2 kept cutting prices, especially for n-type wafers. Some even offered the same prices for n-type and p-type wafers. As a result, cell manufacturers purchased wafers at varying prices.
Manufacturers cut future production plans, given price drops and current production cuts. Next week, prices will stabilize, hinging on cell production plans. A short-term wafer supply-demand mismatch is likely if demand from the cell sector remains strong.
Cell prices continued declining this week, down 5-6% to RMB 0.47-0.5/W for p-type M10 cells, with the low-price range reaching RMB 0.45/W. For G12 ones, prices came in at RMB 0.52-0.53/W. It is currently difficult for manufacturers to maintain profitability, and some are taking OEM orders to sustain operation and profitability.
For n-type cells, M10 TOPCon cell prices fell to RMB 0.52-0.55/W this week, with varying product quality widening the price range. The price difference between n-type and p-type cells remained around RMB 0.04-0.07/W. G12 HJT cells, mostly for in-house use and less for external sales, saw prices come in at RMB 0.7/W for high-efficiency ones.
The low-price range will determine price changes next week. Manufacturers have yet to release production plans as of early this month, but the ongoing price drop and the upcoming off-season for cell procurement prompt them to reduce production. In addition to the anticipated production cuts, some manufacturers strive to maintain full utilization rates through OEM and dual distribution businesses.
Module price drops continue in November. This week, average prices neared RMB 1.1/W, driven by the delivery of previous orders. More new orders were delivered at RMB 1.03-1.07/W. In December, the mainstream price range may reach RMB 1-1.05/W. While some orders in the low-price range were delivered at prices below RMB 1/W, the volume was small. Some of those orders were overseas stocks, thus not considered standard delivery.
The planned module production volume in November indeed decreased, now sitting at 53 GW, very close to the projection in October. Whether prices will stabilize depends on module production plan and inventory level.
In November, Chinese exporters will deliver products at USD 0.12-0.135/W (FOB) overseas. In Asia-Pacific, module makers will deliver at USD 0.12-0.13/W. In India, prices for local modules will average at USD 0.2-0.24/W. In Europe, spot prices begin to level off at EUR 0.11-0.135/W. Price quotes for PERC modules for the second half of next year decrease as order request from non-China markets shifts away from them.
As demand switches from PERC products, prices for TOPCon n-type modules came in at RMB 1.08-1.23/W, with a premium of USD 0.007-0.008/W against PERC ones in non-China markets.
For HJT modules, prices were little changed, sitting at RMB 1.3-1.45/W in China.