While the recent cold wave and snowfall have affected polysilicon shipment efficiency in northern China, they have not disturbed the overall shipping schedule. On the other hand, the volume and urgency of polysilicon demand has declined as some ingot companies have begun to reduce their utilization rates. This may hinder the delivery of previous orders, including but not limited to issues such as price adjustments and even order cancellations.
On the supply side, production remained stable with no unanticipated increases. However, the delivery of high-quality polysilicon has remained tight, especially those eligible for n-type ingot production, suggesting better circulation. For polysilicon with a certain proportion of output, such as popcorn polysilicon and multi-grade polysilicon, deliveries require more concessions on trading prices. In addition, inventories of such polysilicon have been piling up, gradually increasing in size.
Similar to last week, polysilicon inventory levels did not show a significant increase. The supply of high-quality polysilicon and polysilicon from major manufacturers remained tight, with inventory concentrated among non-major manufacturers. The overall inventory level falls at an acceptable range, equivalent to eight to twelve days of production. It is worth noting that fluctuations in ingot utilization rates in 1Q24 may affect polysilicon inventory levels.
On Monday night (December 18), an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.2 occurred in the Gansu region, which seriously threatened the safety of local residents. Due to the sensitivity of the ingot production process to earthquakes, InfoLink has conducted a thorough investigation into the impact of this disaster on ingot production. While there are no relevant businesses in Gansu, reports indicate that companies in neighboring regions like Haidong, Xining, and Yinchuan have been affected. Fortunately, the majority of impacts are related to interruptions in the ingot production process, with incidents of crucible breakage being uncommon. The overall impact is estimated to reach 30 to 40 million pieces, with no significant price fluctuations for the time being.
Average wafer trading prices continued slow declines this week. P-type M10 wafer prices fell to RMB 2/piece, with some major manufacturers quoting clearing prices at RMB 1.9/piece, while prices for G12 ones dipped to RMB 3-3.1/piece. Despite increasing demand from cell makers, trading prices for n-type wafers have been declining slowly, with M10 wafers down to RMB 2.2-2.3/piece and G12 wafers to RMB 3.25-3.3/piece.
The current price outlook remains pessimistic. Meanwhile, cell manufacturers are under pressure in terms of wafer procurement as cell prices remain low, leading to rising production cuts in the cell segment this week. With demand shrinking, wafer prices will be subject to adjustments in production plans.
The trading prices for M10 p-type cells stabilized slightly this week, showing signs of reaching its lowest point at RMB 0.38/W, but occasional traded at RMB 0.36-0.37/W in the low-price range. On the other hand, trading prices for G12-sized cells continued to decline, settling at RMB 0.4/W, narrowing the price gap with M10 cells.
For n-type cells, the mainstream trading prices for M10 TOPCon cells also saw a slight decline this week, landing at around RMB 0.47/W, which hasn't fully matched the prices quoted attemptly last week. Meanwhile, most G12 HJT cell manufacturers mainly produce for self-consumption, with limited external sales. Their prices for high-efficiency cells range from RMB 0.65/W to RMB 0.7/W. Due to a sharp decline in demand for 182mm PERC cells, the price gap between TOPCon and PERC cells stays at approximately RMB 0.09-0.1/W.
The entire cell production is currently operating at a loss, leading to a pessimistic atmosphere among manufacturers and prompting continuous plans for production reduction. Despite the declining demand for PERC and increasing manufacturing activity for TOPCon cells, manufacturers are not only considering more production cuts for PERC cells, but also planning reductions in G12 product output and a slowdown in TOPCon’s capacity release. In face of a relative downturn amidst oversupply and continuous decline in module prices, companies need to strategize to survive the cycle and shed burdens of older production lines.
Module prices cannot withstand inventory pressure, showing a downward trend. Manufacturers’ capacity remains underbooked in the first quarter, with the top five manufacturers at around 50-70%., while mid-to-lower tier manufacturers’ order volumes are even lower. With weak demand for the first quarter, overall prices continue to decline.
Module prices dipped this week. Prices for 182mm PERC mono-facial modules are around RMB 0.89-1.05/W, with average prices edging lower to RMB 0.95-0.96/W, while new contract prices approaching RMB 0.92-0.93/W. Some have already begun negotiations at a price below RMB 0.9/W, closing deals at RMB 0.89/W. For 210mm PERC mono-facial modules, prices range from RMB 0.92-1.08/W, with new contract prices moving towards RMB 0.95-1/W. The price gap between 182mm PERC and 210mm PERC mono-facial modules is gradually narrowing as orders closing, and likely to reach the level of 182mm PERC in the future.
TOPCon prices come in at RMB 0.9-1.1/W. Most are fulfilling previous orders, with prices sealing at around RMB 1.05-1.1/W. Subsequent new contracts are signed at a price near RMB 0.98-1.05/W, approaching closely to RMB 0.97-0.98/W. Overseas prices are approximately USD 0.125-0.135/W, while next year's orders saw price quotes of RMB 0.9/W and RMB 0.88/W.
Due to cost factors and an undetermined market, HJT prices remain stagnant. So far, prices sit at around RMB 1.25-1.3/W in China, while overseas order prices hover at USD 0.160-0.170/W.
Sell-offs in overseas market continue to disturb the market. Moreover, Europe’s inventory remains high, showing signs of goods being pulled back or redirected persistently. Due to the impact of dumping prices, overseas prices are continually declining.