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Mono-Si wafer prices flatten out, while cell prices keep falling

Poly Price

This week, polysilicon prices for mono-Si wafer stay unchanged from last week, whereas prices for some chips for mono-Si wafer were slightly reduced. Since polysilicon for mono-Si wafer supply remains tight, while new polysilicon for mono-Si wafer manufacturers might push up prices, polysilicon prices for which is forecast to stay flat or rise by RMB 1-2/kg. Currently, some companies are still in a standoff because polysilicon prices for multi-Si wafer may decline further on sufficient supply. It is expected that orders will be confirmed by the end of the month, when prices will be lowered marginally.

Most Chinese manufacturers will be operating at full capacity in August after conducting maintenance and adjusting production lines in previous months. Therefore, the overall supply of polysilicon will be plentiful next month. This week, the price difference between polysilicon for mono- and multi-Si wafer remains at RMB 18/kg, with polysilicon prices for multi-Si wafer sitting below RMB 60/kg and that for most multi-Si wafers came in at RMB 57-58/kg.

For overseas markets, polysilicon prices for mono-Si wafer fell slightly owing to abundant supply and price fluctuations in China. Foreign prices for polysilicon for multi-Si wafer, on the other hand, stay constant as only a few transactions were made.

Wafer Price

Since the two mono-Si wafer giants have kept their pricing the same, overall mono-Si wafer prices stay constant this week. Although some companies offered higher prices, mono-Si wafers were mostly priced at RMB 3.12-3.17/piece, which are basically the same as previous prices. At present, companies’ pricing for August has been mostly confirmed. However, as cell prices haven’t reached a low, while some cell makers are planning to cut production, the situation of mono-Si wafer supply shortage might change later. For now, overall supply is still tight, and it appears that mono-Si wafer will continue to be in short supply through the end of the year. In terms of price increase, it’s difficult for second-tier companies to raise prices after prices were confirmed in early July.   

On multi-Si wafer side, Chinese and foreign prices both declined as a result of weak demand. Before demand picks up the slack, multi-Si wafer producers can only rely on upstream companies’ price reduction to survive. The average price for multi-Si wafers went down to RMB 1.85/piece and USD 0.25/piece this week. As for cast-mono wafer quote reference, the Chinese price for 158.75mm sits at RMB 2.85-2.9/piece and foreign price USD 0.37-0.375/piece.

Cell Price

With inventories of PERC cells piling up continuously and prices of which coming down to RMB 1/W, some cell manufacturers started lowering utilization rates to maintain the inventory level. Due to flagging demand, the market saw increasing number of orders booked with price lower than RMB 1/W, and hence cell price outlook for August remains pessimistic.

Impacted by mono PERC price dip, multi-Si cell prices will continue going down slowly, with market prices for conventional multi-Si cells falling to RMB 0.83-0.85/W. Moreover, as some cell makers have switched part of the mono PERC manufacturing lines back to produce multi-Si cells, supply of which may increase and hence prices will remain weak in the short term.

Module Price

As Chinese demand hasn’t manifested, module makers have offered various prices recently to secure orders. The range between prices offered by bidders and secured tariffs thus became wider, with more and more PERC modules being offered at RMB 2/W or even lower. Overall, the downtrend in module prices will remain in place throughout Q3.  

Given the time required for auction process, Chinese demand won’t revive significantly until September. As high season will also be upon overseas markets when the Chinese market revives, Q4 is expected to see the highest market demand. Prices across the supply chain are also likely to rebound between September and October.

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