Polysilicon mainstream prices fell slightly this week to RMB 66-73/kg, with the month-on-month decline continuing to slow down, potentially leveling off in the second half of November.
Similar to the previous week, inelastic polysilicon demand in the ingot sector has increased significantly due to higher furnace utilization rates and near-minimum inventory levels. Negotiations and order volumes show signs of market recovery.
Overall, polysilicon supply keeps increasing, but effective additions in high-quality products of leading companies was less than expected. Inventory accumulation remains at a manageable level, varying among manufacturers.
Supply-demand dynamics seem steady for the time being due to efficient inventory depletion. The market even reported isolated instances of tight supply. Changes in pricing strategies are noticeable. Previously sustaining prices at the expense of higher inventory levels, some manufacturers adjusted price quotes for p-type M10 wafers to control inventory accumulation. Meanwhile, Tier-2 and Tier-3 cell manufacturers began purchasing non-A-grade products as cell prices collapsed, resulting in continuous shifts in the supply-demand landscape for wafers of various specifications.
Average wafer trading prices were little changed this week, with a narrower range than last week, suggesting buyers purchasing at closer prices. Prices for p-type M10 and G12 wafers settled at RMB 2.4/piece and RMB 3.4/piece, respectively. For n-type M10 wafers, prices came in at RMB 2.4-2.48/piece. For n-type G12 wafers, prices varied for different cell manufacturing technologies. Overall, prices sat at RMB 3.45-3.5/piece for full, n-type G12 wafers.
Currently, wafer prices have approached the break-even point, leaving little room for further declines. Future price trends hinge greatly on changes in inventory levels and utilization rates.
Cell price movements were mixed this week. P-type M10 cells saw trading prices remaining at RMB 0.45/W, while that of G12 ones rose again due to the supply-demand mismatch to RMB 0.56/W, resulting in a price difference of RMB 0.11/W. Leading cell manufacturers are still raising their quotations as high as RMB 0.6/W, highlighting the price disparity among cells of different sizes. However, with little profitability left for module makers purchasing G12 cells, the pricing power still resides in the module sector.
In non-China markets, prices in dollar terms for G12 cells rose by nearly 10% due to exchange rate fluctuations.
For n-type cells, M10 TOPCon cell prices fell to RMB 0.5-0.51/W this week, with varying product quality widening the price range. The price difference between n-type and p-type cells remained around RMB 0.05-0.06/W. G12 HJT cells, mostly for in-house use and less for external sales, saw prices come in at RMB 0.65/W for high-efficiency ones.
In the aftermath of current price slump, Tier-2 and Tier-3 manufacturers are left with little profitability for producing PERC cells. Many are poised to cut production, which is not an easy call due to concerns about losing staff during production halts and increased production costs as an offshoot of lower utilization rates. For mid and small-scale manufacturers, resuming production can be difficult once it is temporarily shut down.
Average module prices continued to dip this week, with Tier-1 providing price quotes as low as RMB 1.03-1.05/W. Mainstream prices in December will fall within the range of RMB 1-1.05/W, with limited room for further price decreases. Prices of 210mm modules temporarily stabilized this week as subject to cell prices. The low-price range reached below RMB 1/W, with increasing selloffs other than inventory clearance.
In November, Chinese exporters will deliver products at USD 0.12-0.135/W (FOB) overseas. The price range may reach USD 0.12/W in December. 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.
As demand switches from PERC products, prices for TOPCon n-type modules come in at RMB 1.03-1.2/W, with a premium of USD 0.005-0.008/W against PERC ones in non-China markets. For HJT modules, prices were little changed, sitting at RMB 1.28-1.38/W in China.
Inventory depletion remains relatively slow in November, with the average inventory level equaling two months of production. In China, inventory levels continue to rise gradually. This can be attributed to the absence of significant growth in demand that manufacturers expected, grid connection delays worldwide that affect installation progress, the two-month shipping time, and new capacities coming online.