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PERC cell segment struggling as prices to reach break-even point

Poly Price

This week, polysilicon prices stay constant. While most orders were already booked in early July, some manufacturers have made contracts for August due to tight supply of polysilicon for mono-Si wafer. Overall, an uptrend in polysilicon prices for mono-Si wafer and a downtrend in that for multi-Si wafers will remain in place next month. Currently, polysilicon for multi-Si wafer was priced at around RMB 60/kg and market prices of which came in at RMB 57-69/kg. The price difference between polysilicon for mono-Si and multi-Si sits at RMB 18/kg for now.

Foreign prices for polysilicon also stay unchanged this week, with that for multi-Si wafers remaining below USD 7/kg and USD 9/kg for mono-Si wafers.

Wafer Price

Multi-Si wafer prices for overseas markets have continued falling, while the Chinese market also saw low price. However, overall prices won’t change significantly until next week, when second-tier manufacturers start bargaining. As demand for multi-Si wafers remains weak, the average price stays at RMB 1.86/piece this week, whereas foreign price declined slightly to USD 0.252/piece. For cast-mono wafer, the Chinese quote for 158.75mm is RMB 2.85-2.9/piece and foreign quote USD 0.37-0.375/piece.

Cell Price

The PERC cell segment has been experiencing an oversupply and increasing level of inventory due to flagging demand, which will persist through August. Therefore, prices fell further by RMB 0.04-0.05/W this week after a significant drop last week. The inconsistent pricing led to a wider price difference ranging from RMB 0.99-1.05/W. Some companies even agreed with a price lower than RMB 0.99/W. For overseas markets, prices also declined to USD 0.135-0.145/W.

As a price level lower than RMB 0.98/W would reach the break-even point for older PERC production lines, producers with smaller scale or older PERC manufacturing lines will be forced to reduce output if the downtrend continued.

The following two weeks will be the time when companies start negotiating prices for next month. With module makers’ outsourcing volumes remaining low and cell inventories staying high, prices will fall marginally next week. The range of price decrease, though, will be within 3% because manufacturers are reaching the break-even point of older PERC lines. 

Impacted by mono PERC cell prices plunge, multi-Si cell prices also went down slightly, with the average price coming in at RMB 0.84-0.85/W.

Module Price

Considering the time required for paperwork processing, module demand in China won’t rise significantly until September. With a lag being experienced in July and August, module makers are under-booked. As a result, prices for overseas markets also started declining following a price decrease in China, with market price sitting at USD 0.26-0.27/W.

Nevertheless, the anticipated Chinese demand and approaching of high season in overseas markets are expected to slowly drive up overall demand from the end of August. Therefore, module prices for oversea markets won’t drop in the short term despite weak demand.

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