This week saw polysilicon prices keep increasing because of a persistent shortage. The market price for polysilicon returned to RMB 60/kg after stagnating for two and a half months, while low-and high-priced polysilicon also had price increase. With some producers undergoing maintenance and tier-1 polysilicon makers receiving a steady number of orders for polysilicon for multi-Si wafers, polysilicon prices are predicted to continue rising in early October, and this price upward trend would begin faster than expected. Since polysilicon supply is due to improve considerably in October, polysilicon shortage may ease after the middle of next month, although it is not certain whether polysilicon prices would keep rising. Polysilicon prices for mono-Si wafers remained stable this week, and they may not change until after early October.
For overseas markets, polysilicon prices for multi-Si wafers kept rising because of strong demand and fluctuations in Chinese currency. This week, foreign prices came in at USD 6.8–7/kg, and prices may further increase by the end of September with Chinese demand remaining strong. The market price for polysilicon for mono-Si wafers did not change much for overseas markets as a result of a generally balanced supply/demand equilibrium, despite in some cases where the trading price increased.
After experiencing an upward trend last week, the multi-Si wafer price for the Chinese market continues to rise steadily thanks to growing demand and increased polysilicon prices. Most multi-Si wafers were sold for RMB 1.82–1.85/piece, whereas those made by large producers fetched higher prices within this range. The multi-Si wafer price is more likely to increase further as polysilicon prices may keep rising. All signs indicate that not only low-priced wafers but also high-priced ones would see price increase by early October.
For mono-Si wafers, prices offered by the top two producers, Longi and Zhonghuan Solar, maintained stable, whereas those offered by second-tier makers decreased. Overall, wafers prices sit at RMB 3.06–3.1/piece. Even so, it appears that mono-Si wafer price quoted by the top two makers next week are highly likely to remain identical to their previous levels. As for overseas markets, wafer prices did not change this week.
In the cast mono term, the market price maintained at RMB 2.7–2.75/piece for the Chinese market and USD 0.35–0.355/piece for overseas markets.
With price negotiations on new cell orders due to begin next week and stocks waiting to be sold, cell prices did not change much this week in comparison to the previous one. Conventional mono PERC cells were mostly sold for RMB 0.9–0.93/W whereas multi-Si cells stayed at RMB 0.81–0.82/W.
Q4 may see more mono-Si than multi-Si cells used in PV projects in China. However, multi-Si cells are in a shortage because suppliers are scarce. Chinese demand for cells is currently forecast to surpass 14 GW in Q4. So, domestic demand for mono and multi-Si cells may grow after the National Day Golden Week, which begins on October 1. However, if the bid prices for a recent tender is any indication, mono PERC modules are still at a mercy of persistent price decrease. With huge price pressure to face in Q4, modules are not likely to withstand too much price increase from the cell sector. So, cell prices may remain subject to bargaining before the arrival of the National Day. Meanwhile, how prices for mono and multi-Si wafers are going to change will have an influence on the pricing of cells.
Demand for modules remained stable overseas. Whether the overall module demand will become as robust as predicted depends on Chinese demand surging. The bid prices unveiled in results of auctions over the past week showed that module makers have lowered their pricing to reduce their bulging stock and price pressure, with PERC modules offering at RMB 1.83–1.9/W. The price for multi-Si modules was hovering at RMB 1.7/W.
The Renewable Energy India Expo and the Solar Power International, which has returned this week and will take place in the United States next week respectively, will draw considerable attention to the status of both major markets.
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