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Prices for April mostly determined; polysilicon saw significant price drop

Poly Price

This week, polysilicon prices show continued falls, with a 5% decrease in prices for polysilicon for mono- and multi-Si wafer respectively in China, a level higher than expected. Currently, the pricing of polysilicon for mono-Si wafer is mostly at around RMB 74/kg; while latest market prices were kept below this week’s high price at RMB 75/kg and lower. Owing to stable demand for mono-Si products, prices for polysilicon for mono-Si wafer will not decline indefinitely. Current changes in prices are mainly caused by the move to maintain cost variance of downstream mono-Si and multi-Si wafer.

Recent polysilicon prices are projected to settle temporarily this week, but a slight decrease may still be seen during a new round of negotiation in the end of April. Prices for polysilicon for multi-Si wafer remain stable at RMB 60/kg and lower than RMB 60/kg for small quantity. Some polysilicon manufacturers are expected to conduct maintenance in April, which will help reduce market surplus. For overseas market, prices for polysilicon for mono-Si wafer have also declined. Prices for polysilicon for multi-Si, however, are unknown as not much transactions were made. 

Wafer Price

Due to price slump in polysilicon and China’s VAT deduction, prices for multi-Si wafer have dropped below to RMB 2/piece this week in China, average market price have reached to RMB 1.95/piece, where some of the transactions were made with price between RMB 1.9-1.93/piece. As polysilicon prices are seemly close to the bottom price, the price downtrend in multi-Si wafer may be stabilized at the low price of around RMB 1.9/piece. Affected by VAT cut, prices for multi-Si wafer are around USD 0.26-0.265/piece in overseas market.

Regarding mono-Si wafer prices, driven by Zhonghuan Solar’s price adjust to RMB 3.17/piece in quote last week, the high price has increased this week but prices for the mainstream remain unchanged. Prices for overseas market also stay steady at around USD 0.423-0.43/piece. 

Starting this week, PV InfoLink will make price quotes for the full square mono wafer with 158.75mm (G1), which is expected to see a surge in demand in the second half of the year. However, as there are only a few manufacturers which offer full square mono wafer of 158.75mm now and prices of which are quoted on the basis of wafer with 156.75mm, the scope of market price survey will be more concentrated.

Cell Price

Despite a downtrend in cell prices last week, overall demand remained strong. Almost all top-tier cell makers could retain maximum order quantity. Average selling prices of mono-Si PERC cells reached RMB 1.19-1.21/W with some orders standing at RMB 1.17-1.18/W. Cell makers with GW-level capacity have confirmed all orders for April and witnessed healthy inventory level under this price. Therefore, mono-Si PERC cell prices should remain unchanged before cell makers start to negotiate prices for May.

This week’s multi-Si cell prices reflected the impact from lower multi-Si wafer prices. However, the multi-Si cell market saw balanced supply and demand relationship because strong demand continues after the fiscal year ended for Japan and India and barely any cell makers have conventional multi-Si cell production lines. With higher-than-expected demand, prices of multi-Si cells slightly dropped from RMB 0.87/W last week to RMB 0.85-0.86/W.

As for overseas cell, PERC cell prices didn’t fluctuate substantially in any markets except Taiwan. The Taiwanese PERC cell market saw slightly loose prices due to weakened demand. Meanwhile, multi-Si cell prices stayed flat at USD 0.12/W in Southeast Asia as demand didn’t decline significantly in India. 

Module Price

The overseas market has more needs for high-efficiency modules in Q2. Therefore, demand of mono-Si PERC, half-cut modules, and modules assembled from larger wafers is significantly higher than conventional multi-Si modules. 

Top-tier manufacturers that deployed global strategies ahead of time continued witnessing tight supply for mono-Si PERC modules, allowing prices to remain flat at USD 0.275-0.285/W. Second-tier manufacturers saw stable overall prices although some companies came up with lower quote in prices. The increasing demand of 320W (and higher) modules from Europe, the U.S., and Australia will lead to higher production for half-cut modules as well as modules assembled from larger wafers in the second half of the year.

There has been a lot of speculation about when China will announce the new policy. Yet, since it will take 2-3 months to put the new policy into action, demand will certainly remain weak in Q2.

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