The overall supply of polysilicon is stabilizing, with no significant increase in the effective supply of high-quality polysilicon from leading manufacturers. Additions come from new capacities released and coming online, while their quality requires further improvement. The disparity widens between the supply of polysilicon with higher and lower quality.
As order intake picks up, utilization rates of the ingot segment recover, but price quotes have decreased. The mainstream prices for polysilicon chunks dropped to RMB 63-68/kg, averaging RMB 65/kg, down 3% week-on-week. Granular polysilicon prices fell to RMB 58-62/kg, keeping an RMB 4-6/kg gap with polysilicon chunks. The gap will narrow with the overall price declines.
The proportion of n-type wafer output in the ingot segment has experienced significant month-on-month increases and may reach 40% by the end of 2023. InfoLink closely monitors and reports the supply of all types of polysilicon, especially those better meeting quality requirements for n-type ingot production.
Wafer prices stabilize despite the currently narrow profit margin. The sector reaches a temporary balance in supply and demand. Considering the potential for significant changes in cell production plans next month, wafer trading activities have been relatively subdued this week, with the market awaiting a new round of price competition in the supply chain next month.
The average trading price for wafers remained unchanged this week, sitting at RMB 2.3/piece and RMB 3.3/piece for p-type M10 and G12 wafers, respectively. For n-type wafers, the average trading price remained the same as last week despite a slight drop in trading prices for M10 to RMB 2.36-2.4/piece. N-type G12 wafers have experienced a slightly tight supply, with prices remaining at RMB 3.4-3.45/piece.
As new and old production capacities continue to come online, manufacturers are concerned that increasing supply volume will disrupt the current supply-demand dynamic and lead to further price declines in December. However, there is still significant divergence among wafer manufacturers in their production plans next month. Some manufacturers are increasing their production, while others have adjust their output downward. Future price trend hinges on the final changes in wafer and cell production plans.
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The cell sector has been stuck with negative profits for a while. Some Tier-2 and Tier-3 non-vertically integrated manufacturers have encountered operational difficulties, with a few ultimately exiting the market. Despite manufacturers actively engaging in OEM, Due to the rapid decline in PERC cell demand, manufacturers can hardly maintain profitability even if they take OEM orders actively. Only a few leading companies can sustain full-capacity operations through cross-sector profit distribution and their operational advantages.
This week, cell trading prices continued to decline. P-type M10cells traded at RMB 0.42-0.44/W, with some transactions recorded at the updated quote of RMB 0.4/W. Meanwhile, mainstream prices for G12 cells were sustained by a supply-demand mismatch, holding at RMB 0.58/W, resulting in a wobbling price gap of RMB 0.16/W between M10 and G12 cells, highlighting the pricing advantage for the later in a seller’s market with limited suppliers. However, with the completion of G12 cell order deliveries, prices will quickly return to normal levels next month, further narrowing the price difference.
For n-type M10 cells, prices remained at RMB 0.49-0.5/W this week. 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. The price difference between n-type and p-type cells reached RMB 0.07-0.08/W.
Inventory depletion in the cell sector had been efficient this week. Currently, cell inventory equals four to five days of production. However, recent price declines are not the result of inventory accumulation but the rapidly shrinking demand for p-type M10 cells. In contrast, G12 and n-type cells maintain a relatively healthy supply-demand situation.
The rapid shift in market demand towards n-type products has sent M10 PERC cell production into long-term cash loss. At the year’s end, when demand is weak, many manufacturers plan to cut production in December. They are still evaluating the extent of reduction, for, adjusting production plans may pose challenges in reactivating production lines. Cell production plans will be the focal point of market attention.
Module prices were still mixed this week. In China, inventory draws will decrease as utility-scale ground-mounted projects conclude in December. Developers postpone projects amid module price declines, for there is no specific deadline this year. On the spot market, modules for distributed generation projects saw chaotic price fluctuations due to sell-offs and bundled orders.
For 182mm monofacial modules, prices came in at RMB 0.91-1.03/W. The price gap between 182mm monofacial modules and 210mm ones began to narrow as the lead time of the latter ends, now sitting at RMB 0.03-0.05/W and will return to RMB 0.01-0.03/W in December. Sales prices for PERC modules came in at USD 0.12-0.13/W in Asia-pacific and EUR 0.11-0.13/W in Europe with deliveries completing soon.
TOPCon module prices ranged from RMB 0.96/W to RMB 1.18/W, with earlier transactions mostly falling within the range of RMB 1.1-1.18/W. New orders were quoted at RMB 0.98-1.05/W. Prices for non-China markets stood at USD 0.13-0.145/W.
HJT module prices sit at RMB 1.2-1.35/W, experiencing a relatively narrow decrease due to cost pressure. Prices for non-China markets remained at USD 0.16-0.175/W.
Except for a few manufacturers maintaining relatively high utilization rates thanks to rather sufficient order volumes, most manufacturers plan to reduce production in December by 0.3-0.8 GW. The total module production of the month will be 48-50 GW. Manufacturers phase out p-type products and reduce production as demand shifts towards n-type products. On the other hand, TOPCon modules sustain robust demand and will see production plans increasing as module makers release capacities. With prices nearing the bottom, declines will slow down in December.
In terms of glass, negotiations for new orders in December are underway this week. Faced with low module prices and weakened demand, module makers attempt to push down glass prices. However, glass manufacturers can hardly concede as manufacturing costs rise due to fluctuating and potentially increasing raw material prices. The outcome of this negotiation between the two parties is yet to be clarified.