Polysilicon production and delivery were steady as the Lunar New Year holiday approached. Overall, supply sustained a stable month-on-month increase, while periodic price fluctuations reflected temporary shortages.
Trading prices rose for Chinese polysilicon while holding steady for non-China polysilicon. Chinese mono-grade polysilicon qualified for n-type ingot production saw price quotes rising to RMB 65-73/kg, with the high-price range reaching RMB 69-73/kg, while actual trading prices fell slightly lower. Yet, manufacturers still delivered earlier orders this week at previous price levels of RMB 64-68/kg. As the amount of price hikes still varies among manufacturers, the price report this week only presents the upward price trend. Actual increases will be listed afterward.
Rising polysilicon prices indicate considerable demand from the ingot segment. Less than ten days away from the Lunar New Year holiday, ingot manufacturers keep utilization rates unchanged or higher, resulting in strong polysilicon demand. The market shows signs of pre-holiday stockpiling and ongoing buyer-seller standoffs.
Following weeks of low prices, manufacturers traded p-type M10 cells at higher price quotes they offered last week due to tight supply amid timely transitions to n-type production. Only few of them settled at prices below RMB 2.05/piece. Prices for p-type and n-type cells officially reversed this week. Attempts of some manufacturers to raise n-type prices failed as market acceptance remained low.
Trading prices rose to RMB 2.05/piece for p-type M10 wafers while sitting at RMB 2.8/piece for G12 ones this week. N-type wafer prices came in at RMB 2/piece and RMB 3.1/piece for M10 and G12 formats, respectively. Thanks to the significant increase in wattage, the price per watt for n-type M10 wafers was 8-9% lower than that of p-type ones, meaning a superior price-performance ratio.
While planning holiday schedules and production in February, manufacturers bet on the post-holiday demand. Currently, the wafer sector hopes to maintain utilization rates and has no evident intention to cut production. However, sales pressure will mount if there's no significant recovery in end-user demand.
The supply of high-efficiency PERC cells seemed tight as the number of PERC cell manufacturers decreased sharply. With an oligopolistic advantage in efficiency, leading manufacturers attempted to raise prices.
Trading prices for p-type cells sustained, coming in at RMB 0.38/W for both M10 and G12 cells. Meanwhile, leading, non-vertically integrated cell manufacturers maintained price premiums, with prices for high-efficiency products reaching RMB 0.39/W.
This week, mainstream trading prices for n-type M10 cells were relatively stable, averaging RMB 0.46-0.47/W. The price gap between TOPCon and PERC cells stabilized at RMB 0.08-0.09/W. G12 HJT cells, primarily for in-house use, saw prices vary significantly for external sales, coming in at RMB 0.6-0.7/W for high-efficiency ones.
Manufacturers plan to take down time or reduce production during the Lunar New Year holiday. Some of them will upgrade PERC production capacity while some enhance existing TOPCon production lines with LEOC or other efficiency-improving, cost-reducing processes.
Cell price trend will remain steady in the short term. Increases are likely after the holiday if production cuts exceed expectations.
Delivery prices for utility-scale projects made up most of the prices this week due to cost, decreased deliveries, and fewer new projects recently. Average prices stabilized for the time being, sitting at RMB 0.88-0.9/W for PERC modules and RMB 0.93-0.96/W for TOPCon ones.
Subject to lofty production costs, an undetermined market, and higher delivery prices for previous orders than new ones, HJT module prices came in at RMB 1.15-1.2/W in China. In non-China markets, prices declined slightly to USD 0.145-0.170/W due to recent deliveries.
Talks about price hikes after the holiday emerged, concluding on little probability given limited end-user affordability and continuous long-term price declines. The upward trend of prices in China hinges on future demand.
In non-China markets, short-term demand for 182mm PERC modules strengthens at the end of its product cycle. Given this, faster inventory depletion in Europe, and shipping risks, some manufacturers planned to adjust prices after the holiday. Still, the extent of price hikes depends on end-user acceptance. A marginal increase of USD 0.01-0.02/W is likely.