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Currency fluctuations to affect foreign prices across the supply chain

Poly Price

This week saw Chinese polysilicon prices stabilizing, with those for mono-and multi-Si wafers maintaining their previous levels. Polysilicon prices will not likely change much until the end of August, because many of which were confirmed in the previous week. The current price of polysilicon for mono-Si wafers is RMB 74–78/kg, whereas that for multi-Si wafers is RMB 56–59/kg. With several manufacturers due to undergo maintenance in August, the supply of polysilicon for mono-and multi-Si wafers will then vary slightly. Nevertheless, supply and demand for both face no pressure owing to weak overall market demand. Top polysilicon makers in China are raising the share for mono-Si produced, whereas overseas polysilicon makers are increasing chip supply. Therefore, as polysilicon for mono-Si wafers keeps increasing in availability, its price may rebound within a limited range in Q3, but how that price will change in Q4 will depend on polysilicon producers for mono- and multi-Si wafer’s manufacturing activities on new capacity.

Hit by currency fluctuations, overseas price quotes changed accordingly. As there was considerable change in exchange rates, polysilicon prices declined markedly. Moreover, overseas polysilicon prices may drop further if the yuan keeps depreciating. This week, the prices of mono-and multi-Si dropped to USD 0.2 and 0.1/kg, respectively.

Wafer Price

The decline in prices of multi-Si wafers continued into this week. The multi-Si wafer price fell in China, with its mainstream level was down to RMB 1.82–1.8/piece, and varied wildly in the market, which saw many quotes offered at under 1.8 RMB/piece. Overseas wafer prices decreased considerably, with the latest orders booked with a price under USD 0.245/piece. Weak demand and currency exchange rates will play a big role in causing wafer prices to decline in the future; therefore, the multi-Si wafer price will likely keep falling.

Since multi-Si wafer makers are mostly expected to maintain production output at its previous level in August, supply of multi-Si wafers will remain plentiful. Despite falling wafer prices, polysilicon prices do not decrease, multi-Si wafer companies are thus put in an increasingly difficult situation. In comparison with polysilicon prices, non-polysilicon costs, and polysilicon prices for multi-Si wafers in Q2, wafer makers bear pressure at a level close to what it was in May.

The mono-Si wafer price is forecast to stabilize for much of August and shows no noticeable change for the timing being, as cell makers have reduced their utilization rates but still received a steady influx of mono-Si wafer orders. This week’s quote for 158.75 mm cast-mono wafers maintains its previous level at RMB 2.85–2.9/piece in China and USD 0.37–0.375/piece abroad.

Cell Price

As cell inventory in China did not shrink much, this week saw PERC cell prices decreasing again, with the market price falling to RMB 0.9–0.93/W. This price level reached a break-even point for older PERC production lines, prompting further reduction in production volume and making it difficult for subsequent PERC prices to keep decreasing. The price of multi-Si cells remained low, having declined to RMB 0.82–0.83/W.

The USD/RMB exchange rate has changed substantially these days, and although such a change had no immediate effect this week, it may disrupt overseas cell prices. Therefore, considering the impact of currency exchange rates, overseas cell prices are forecast to keep weakening.

Module Price

China’s demand for modules may not change much until this September, when it will likely recover fast and overseas markets will enter their high seasons. Thus, Q4 will see the strongest module demand of the year. However, as module prices in the supply chain has declined substantially and modules demand is yet to pick up, overseas prices for mono PERC modules are trending downward.

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