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After dramatic drop, prices in supply chain stabilized; multi-Si demand remains weak in May

Poly Price

Due to an increase in overseas stock, polysilicon for multi-Si wafers saw a slight decline in prices this week, while market prices in China were temporarily stabilized as many companies are currently undergoing maintenance or planning to do so. Therefore, polysilicon prices remained stable in China and overseas temporarily this week.

Polysilicon supplies were significantly reduced by 10%-15% because Yongxiang needs time to resume production after the accident and GCL Silicon is expecting to conduct maintenance in mid-May. However, due to weaker demand and accumulated stocks from the previous weeks, average market price remained at last week’s levels despite a higher quote in price. Top-tier manufacturers' quotes for polysilicon for multi-Si wafers are above RMB 60/kg, while quotes of polysilicon for mono-Si wafers stayed constant at RMB 74/kg. Based on the information given, manufacturers including Combo, Yongxiang, GCL Silicon, and DL Silicon will lower production in April and May.

Wafer Price

This week, only the overseas multi-Si wafer market is undergoing price movement, with prices decreasing slightly by 1.2% to USD 0.26/piece. Thanks to the higher price stability of polysilicon, multi-Si wafer prices are expected to remain at previous levels and less likely to decline further. Meanwhile, market price for Chinese mainstream multi-Si wafers remain stable at RMB 1.85-1.93/piece.

The wafer price trend is still affeced by the level of demand. Since it takes time to put policy into practice after China announces the new policy in late April, demand will remain weak in May while prices are expected to stay flat or decline slightly. As for mono-Si wafer, prices in China and overseas remained at last week’s levels. After next week, the two leading companies are likely to release prices for May.

Cell Price

Based on the the draft policies announced last week, Chinese demand is expected to bounce back in July. As predicted eariler, May and June will experience the weakest demand.

Demand in May will be slightly lower than April, particularly for the multi-Si market. Thanks to the continuous increase in overseas mono-Si product demand, mono-Si PERC makers are expecting to maintain balanced supply and demand relationship in May. As the low season is upon the Taiwanese market in April, mono-Si PERC cell prices fell to USD 0.175/W recently in Taiwan.

Buyers and sellers will be negotiating new prices next week. With high order visibility, prices of mono-Si PERC cells are likely to remain stable, allowing the low price this year to be higher than anticipated. Prices of conventional multi-Si cells, on the other hand, are expected to decline further following weaker demand.

Module Price

Although a rebound in Chinese demand will not occur until July, the PV market has gained confidence after China offered insights into new policy direction. Despite approaching of the low season, module prices are unlikely to fluctuate much when an increase of demand is expected in July.

Looking ahead, cell and module makers will start to adjust production lines during the low season in order to improve module output and match the increasing need for wafers of 158.75mm (G1) size. More and more manufacturers are expected to switch production lines to fit G1 wafers in Q3, leading to much higher shipment in Q4.

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