This week’s polysilicon prices remain stable in China and overseas markets. Although a small number of prices and transactions have been confirmed, the market in general stays unchanged with only a small fluctuation in demand. As SNEC is about to kick off next week, the market outlook is expected to become clearer by then.
It seems that multi-Si product demand will be affected after China released the first batch of grid-parity projects and India reduced its capacity addition target for 2019-2020. Therefore, mono-Si will continue to be the mainstream product in the second half of the year. As for cast mono, an increasing number of manufacturers have started to promote cast-mono wafers recently, while module companies are getting their cast-mono modules certified. Among these companies, Canadian Solar has secured a large order for cast-mono products, shedding some light on the PV development for multi-Si companies. According to the understanding, polysilicon for multi-Si wafers can also be used to produce cast-mono through casting method. In other words, the same raw material can be used for both multi-Si and cast mono through the same manufacturing process, and hence cast mono is given a competitive advantage.
In June, GCL Silicon, Sino-Si, Orisi Silicon, and Yongxiang Baotou will resume production, while TBEA will releases new capacity. As a result, polysilicon for multi-Si wafers will face surplus supply in late June and July.
Despite a continuous price increase in multi-Si cell, this week’s multi-Si wafer prices stay constant from last week. The rebound in multi-Si cell prices is ascribed to the temporarily short supply caused by lower capacity. Supply of multi-Si wafer, in contrast, is sufficient, so wafer makers are unable to raise prices.
Cast-mono products and manufacturers’ choices of wafer size will be the focus at this year’s SNEC. Prices for products spanning full square with 158.75mm, wafers with M4 and M6 sizes and cast mono, are adjusted based on price of 156.75mm wafers. According to the pricing released by Longi and Zhonghuan last week and today, wafer prices will remain unchanged in June.
Cell prices for June have been confirmed after Tongwei released its pricing – a slight rise in multi-Si cell and unchanged mono-Si cell prices. With fewer suppliers in the market, conventional multi-Si cell prices increased further to RMB 0.88-0.9/W and remained high at USD 0.12-0.13/W in Southeast Asia.
Since the Chinese market is wrapping up some projects before June 30, demand has remained strong for conventional multi-Si cells as well as multi-Si cells with lower efficiency, pushing up prices over these months.
As for mono PERC cell, market prices in June will remain high at May’s level owing to stable demand. Due to short supplies, the market saw a slight price rise for some orders, with trading price of mono PERC reaching RMB 1.18-1.21/W. Prices for PERC cells have stayed constant at around RMB 1.2/W from late March to June. That demonstrates PV InfoLink’s forecast in March: “prices will not decline significantly as there won't be further PERC capacity expansion between April and May." Meanwhile, mono PERC cell prices are expected to remain high in the short run.
Looking back, module demand in May was higher than that in April, allowing top-tier manufacturers to keep inventory level healthy and push utilization rate higher. However, since it takes time for the Chinese demand to emerge, module demand in June is likely to stay constant from May.
Module demand is likely to increase month by month after June as the U.S. and Europe will enter the high season while Chinese demand will rise substantially after July. The upcoming SNEC will also be an indicator for module demand in the second half.
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