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Prices in supply chain remain stable in May; China is awaiting market rebound

Poly Price

This week saw a rebound in Chinese polysilicon prices after reaching a low. From a supply and demand perspective, the rise in price is not high enough to maintain the level of market prices. However, as many manufacturers’ equipment is undergoing maintenance and the market outlook is believed to be positive, sellers are increasing prices gradually. Moreover, with retailers hoarding products and stockpiling, polysilicon prices for multi-Si wafer have also increased slightly though the traded prices still stay between the average and low price. As for polysilicon for mono-Si wafer, the average and low prices have also increased following overall upward trend. Currently, polysilicon prices saw a slight rebound only. Prices will be staying constant in May and unlikely to skyrocket.

Overseas markets saw little change this week. Following steady price increase in China, market prices for overseas polysilicon for mono-Si wafer have risen from a lower price quote level to a medium high. Large companies have kept their inventories at a healthy level; while small companies managed to reduce inventory level during previous bargain sales. As a result, polysilicon prices won’t face downward pressure in the short term.

Wafer Price

Chinese and overseas wafer prices level off this week. Due to stable upstream polysilicon prices, downstream multi-Si cell prices are also stabilized and ready to rise, resulting in smaller variation in wafer prices. In addition to an increase in low price, the high price also fell closer to the average price. This week, the pricing for overseas multi-Si wafer is USD 0.258-0.26/piece. Whereas prices for mainstream multi-Si wafer in China remain stable around RMB 1.9/piece.

As demand for multi-Si wafer seems balance in May, multi-Si wafer makers won’t be facing much pressure. Nevertheless, some makers’ inventory pileup hinders large increase in prices. For mono-Si wafer, Longi has released prices for May, which stay constant. Mono-Si wafer prices also remain stable this week.

Cell Price

By this Wednesday, Tongwei, the largest cell maker, still hasn’t released new prices. Meanwhile, other cell makers have been making transactions for May. Thus, demand is better in May for cell sector despite it should be the low season.

Supply and demand for mono PERC cells, on the other hand, will be in balance in May as expected due to continuous strong overseas demand. The new quotes provided by most cell makers remain stable at RMB 1.19-1.21/W. It is expected that Chinese PERC cell makers will be able to sell out products in May.

Regarding multi-Si cells, demand has remained strong in April through May as vertically integrated companies have been converting production lines to mono-Si. Though most of the multi-Si cell orders were traded at RMB 0.84-0.86/W this week, the market also saw some orders with slightly higher market price. The market sees a steady upward trend in prices and a small rise may occur in the short run.

Module Price

Module price undulation is small in May. Currently, the module market is supported by strong overseas demand, which compensates China’s weak demand that will persist until July. Driven by emerging markets, demand for multi modules also rises. However, overall multi module demand is not strong enough to support higher price level, companies are thus unwilling to increase their production of multi modules.

So far, though cell makers haven’t made any big moves, more and more vertically integrated companies are upgrading mono modules to assembling with 158.75mm (G1) size. Q3 is expected to see more companies converting productions lines into G1, leading to higher actual output in Q4.

PV Glass Price

After experiencing continuous rise in prices in the beginning of this year, the balance between supply and demand is restored recently, leading to stable PV glass prices. Price quotes for May remain at the same level around RMB 26.2-26.5/m2.

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