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Prices of mono-Si wafers increases slightly

Lunar New Year is coming in the next week, PV InfoLink will stop quoting for a week.

Poly Price

The price of polysilicon rebounded this week, both of mono and multi wafer use polysilicon increased around RMB 1-2/kg. The mainstream price of mono wafer use reached to RMB 80/kg and the multi wafer use was approximately RMB 74/kg. Since the orders which executed from the top-tier manufacturers are the orders after Lunar New Year or the end of February, the price of mono wafer use polysilicon after Lunar New Year may not decrease as much as the previous estimation. On the other hand, some second-tier polysilicon suppliers have stocks on hand and they are facing the dilemma of reluctant sale or capital pressure. Therefore, it is estimated that the price of multi wafer use polysilicon will drop along with stock clearance pressure after Lunar New Year.

As we known so far, the manufacturers of multi-Si wafers are going to reduce their capacity utilization in the period of Lunar New Year while mono-Si wafer manufacturers and vertically-integrated suppliers have not many changes, thus the demand of multi wafer use polysilicon remain weak. The overseas price of polysilicon remained flat this week. As the polysilicon's demand is anticipated to rise after Lunar New Year, its turnover and price could increase as well.

Wafer Price

The price of wafers has possibility to raise continuously this week. Although it's getting close to the end of month, the average trading price of multi wafers maintained, but the low price of multi wafers is increasing. If the market demand could maintain positive after Lunar New Year, the price of top-tier and second-tier manufacturers' multi wafers will rise significantly. Regarding mono-Si wafers, GCL and Konca raised their trading prices because of the price increase of Zhonghuan Solar. This week the trading price zone of wafers is enlarged and the trading price of new orders rises to RMB 3.15-3.20/piece. So far the demand of wafers is anticipated to be stable after Lunar New Year and better than previous forecast, hence the wafer price is expected to increase continuously.

Cell Price

Since mono PERC cell prices have increased significantly over the past three months, this week’s price of mono PERC cell with an efficiency of 21.5% remained flat at RMB 1.29-1.3/W, unaffected by the rising wafer prices. The overall overseas price also stayed unchanged, but the overseas market saw larger price gap. Currently, mono PERC cell is still priced at US$ 0.175/W in Taiwan, yet the price seems like the highest point and can be difficult to rise further.

On the other hand, following the peak-season of the end of financial year for India and Japan in 1Q19, the multi cell market has not yet seen a decline in demand. Multi cell prices for February slightly reflected the rising price of multi wafers. Conventional multi cell with an efficiency of 18.7% is priced at RMB 0.9/W and US$ 0.115/W.

Looking ahead for after the Lunar New Year, the order visibility will remain high for mono PERC cells. Price is not likely to fluctuate much in the short run after the Lunar New Year. Yet, there may be a turning point for multi cell after India places fewer orders, and therefore multi cell manufacturers are in wait-and-see mode for prices in March.

Module Price

The overseas market witnesses higher-than-expected number of orders in 1Q19. The shares of mono products in the overseas have increased significantly compared to last year. With high order visibility for mono PERC modules, top and second-tier module manufacturers are almost running at full capacity for mono PERC products in Q1. In addition, following the significant fluctuation of currencies from last week to this week, the exchange rate of USD to RMB has reached RMB 6.73, and thus the overseas price has slightly increased for PERC modules.

For multi module, owing to the strategies deployed in the overseas markets, top-tier vertically-integrated manufacturers saw good order visibility for multi modules in Q1. Prices were mostly maintained at a high level. However, second-tier module makers witnessed lower order visibility than top-tier makers, leading to reduced prices.  This led to a large price gap for multi modules. 275W conventional multi module is priced at RMB 1.75-1.85/W. However, it’s projected that multi module demand will decline significantly after the peak-season in India ends, and therefore multi module price is likely to drop slowly from March to Q2.

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