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Chinese PERC cell prices plunge amid weaker demand

Poly Price

This week, the polysilicon market saw wider price difference between polysilicon for multi- and mono-Si wafers. Polysilicon prices for mono-Si wafers remain unchanged but dropped below RMB 60/kg for multi-Si wafers, resulting in a spread of RMB 17/kg. Owing to strong demand for mono-Si product as well as increasing production of mono-Si wafers in the second half, demand for polysilicon for mono-Si wafers will remain stable. As the market is experiencing a tighter supply of chips for mono-Si wafers, prices for polysilicon for mono-Si wafers can still go up.

The price difference between overseas and Chinese polysilicon for mono-Si wafers was wide, but prices have bounced back slightly to over USD 9/kg as a result of chips shortage. At the meantime, the market demand is also increasing gradually.

Wafer Price

Mono-Si wafer is still in short supply. Some cell makers may even be forced to reduce the capacity utilization rates because they couldn’t obtain enough mono-Si wafers. While leading mono-Si wafer makers will still negotiate prices once a month,  other companies will keep prices unchanged. Overall prices basically stay at a high level.

As for multi-Si wafer, demand is stable but weak because most cell manufacturers have been turning to produce mono-Si. As downstream sectors began to put pressure on multi-Si wafer prices, some second-tier makers have lowered prices, affecting multi-Si wafer prices in the market. This week, average price went down marginally to RMB 1.87/piece. Despite a slight decline in polysilicon prices, the overall trend has put multi-Si wafer companies in an unfavorable position, and prices for which won’t stabilize until Chinese demand manifests.

PV InfoLink starts offering quotes for cast mono this week. In the Chinese market, 158.75mm cast-mono wafer came in at RMB 2.85-2.9/piece and USD 0.37-0.375/piece in overseas markets this week.

Cell Price

With the supply of PERC cell exceeding demand, prices plummeted from last week’s RMB 1.16/W to RMB 1.1-1.12/W this week, down by over 3%. The market also saw a few manufacturers selling their products at a cheaper price, with some lower than RMB 1.1/W. As most cell makers have not yet been fully booked for July, they are now under pressure from the increasing level of inventory. Meanwhile, module makers are putting pressure on cell prices continuously, and hence PERC cell prices are declining further next week.

For foreign prices, as demand in overseas markets was mostly fulfilled by top-tier cell makers, competition on price is less severe than in the Chinese market, with prices coming in at USD 0.15/W this week.

Due to the end of installation boom on June 30 in China and a substantial decline in mono PERC prices, conventional multi-Si cell is priced at RMB 0.87-0.89/W in overseas markets.

Module Price

Chinese PERC module prices remained high at RMB 2.1-2.2 in Q2, yet, only a small number of transactions have been made. While the government will start launching tenders in Q3, prices set by auction will go down rapidly due to weaker demand in July and August. Results of auction announced recently also revealed a phenomenon of inconsistent pricing and wider price difference for PERC modules. The market price this week sits at RMB 1.95-2.1/W.

Considering the time required to process paperwork, the Chinese market won't see a significant increase in module demand until September. As summer holidays have arrived in Europe, not much transaction will be made. With a lag being experienced in July through August before demand picks up the slack, order volumes for PERC module will be lower than expected. The effects of China’s falling prices are rippling to the overseas marketplaces, where the price has gone down to USD 0.265-0.27/W.

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