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Prices for multi-Si cells and modules keep falling amid sluggish multi-Si demand

Poly Price

The polysilicon price for multi-Si wafers was easing off this week, most of this change came from polysilicon makers who produce more polysilicon for multi-Si wafers than for mono-Si wafers. Tier-1 makers’ price quotes on polysilicon for multi-Si wafers were hovering at RMB 60/kg, but they received little demand in the market. Inventory level of polysilicon for multi-Si wafers has not risen much, so even though cast mono producers had lowered their utilization rates or closed down, the polysilicon price for multi-Si wafers only declined a bit this week. Cast mono producers and polysilicon producers are now bargaining with each other, and they trade in small volumes. Most cast mono makers are sitting on the fence.

With cast mono makers in the midst of reducing their utilization rates and future demand for multi-Si products due to become stagnant, the market price for polysilicon for multi-Si wafer may fall below RMB 60/kg. The polysilicon price for mono-Si wafer stabilized at RMB 74/kg, as polysilicon for mono-Si wafers has been increasingly produced and downstream demand has been stable. With the polysilicon price for multi-Si wafers expected to decline, it is worth noting whether mono-Si wafer makers will compel polysilicon makers to maintain some price difference. For overseas markets, polysilicon prices for mono-Si and multi-Si wafers were stable this week due to small exchange-rate variations.

Wafer Price

Hit by flagging demand last week, the price for multi-Si wafers was declining this week, having come in at RMB 1.75–1.8/piece, and its average level dropped a bit. Tier-2 and Tier-3 cast mono makers, now facing pressure from up- and downstream segments of the supply chain to cut prices, are still concerned about selling products at bargain prices. So, the market price for cast mono is fluctuating. The utilization rate has declined by 30% to 40% among most cast mono makers, and this month’s production volume of multi-Si wafers also decreased 100 million pieces from last month. The pull-in of cells has been modest. 

Overall, wafer prices are seeing increasingly less decline, with the multi-Si wafer price expected to pick up. The pull-in of 158.75 mm (G1) full-square mono wafers in China was making some progress this week, causing a mild shortage. The price for G1 full square mono wafers now sits at RMB 3.28–3.33/piece. The foreign price for mono-Si wafers showed no marked change, hovering at USD 0.388–0.397/piece. The cast mono wafer price remained consistent with what it had been last week, coming in at RMB 2.65–2.7/piece.

Cell Price

The inventory of multi-Si cells remains bulky, so the cells are being sold at bargain prices. This week’s market price for multi-Si cells was RMB 3.05–3.1/piece or RMB 0.674/W. The multi-Si cell price is still declining as demand for them struggles to pick up. The current multi-Si cell price has reached the break-even point for many producers, so there would be more multi-Si cell production lines either being reverted to produce mono-Si cells or shut down in December.

This week’s multi-Si cell prices for overseas markets declined to USD 0.085–0.089/W, in response to the fact that India remains the largest buyer of such cells.

Prices for mono PERC cells were relatively stable on the whole. Those made of M2 wafer stabilized at RMB 0.94–0.95/W, whereas those of 158.75 mm (G1) full-square mono wafers stayed at RMB 0.95–0.97/W.

Module Price

Bids submitted for an auction for procuring large volumes of modules for several projects were unveiled this week. As far as the current module prices are concerned, multi-Si modules continue their price decline at a faster pace, with their market price coming in at RMB 1.58–1.69/W and trending downward. The declining multi-Si module price in China is penetrating abroad; consequently, the foreign price for the modules has begun to decrease slowly.

The price for mono PERC modules has stabilized in China recently. As for overseas markets, mono PERC module prices do not look good in Q4—which is not as busy is expected—thus causing module suppliers to offer lower price quotes to secure orders for the first half of 2020.

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