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Photovoltaic Industry Price Trend: Price Pressure Derived from the Continuous Bargaining, Generated from the Reduced Production of Cells and Modules, is Gradually Transmitting to the Upstream Sector
2021-03-25   |  Editor:et_editor  |  257 Numbers


Polysilicon quotations continued to rise this week owing to the actuation of sporadic orders, and partial businesses have begun negotiating for April orders. A number of sporadic orders continued to increase in prices this week thanks to the support coming from the demand, and downstream businesses have propelled the concluded prices of transactions to guarantee purchase volume, which resulted in an elevation in the overall average market price to roughly RMB 115/kg, with partial mono polysilicon now sitting at RMB 123/kg. Multi Polysilicon has seen a rise in quotations this week on the whole, where the basic price has increased from RMB 62/kg to RMB 64/kg, with the average price now risen to RMB 69/kg, and low price resources are now nearly impossible to locate. Regarding overseas polysilicon, China had imported approximately 7K tons of polysilicon in February, and the incessant shortages will impel a continuous growth in import volume and prices during March. In addition, the amplified quarantine procedures under the pandemic, as well as the extended time of custom clearance, and the decelerated turnover in shipping containers, have prompted another upward adjustment in polysilicon quotations in areas outside of China, where the average price is now US$14.923/kg. Following the constant escalation in domestic and overseas quotations, the global average price of polysilicon has now been upward adjusted to US$14.808/kg.

An observation on the production, operation, and shipment status of the polysilicon sector indicates that the production volume from 10 domestic polysilicon businesses is expected to surpass 36K tons in March. Partial businesses located in Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia are affected in output owing to equipment maintenance and overhaul or the energy consumption policy, and the remaining businesses are essentially maintaining ordinary production schedules. As the end of the month approaches, a number of first-tier businesses have started to negotiate for April orders, though with no concluded transactions yet. The downstream sector commented that the procurement pressure has been relatively substantial due to the excessively high prices, and the small number of April orders concluded previously has induced few polysilicon businesses to remain on the wait-and-see attitude towards the market.


Wafer quotations had slightly fluctuated this week, where the prices of mono and multi-Si wafers had simultaneously increased. The inflation trend in the quotations of wafers had marginally decelerated this week after the comprehensive rise in quotations from the wafer market last week, with a relatively low volume of concluded transactions since most wafer businesses have finalized on orders during the beginning of the month that resulted in no shipment to be delivered. A minor increase has thus occurred in the prices of mono-Si wafers, where the domestic and overseas average prices of G1 and M6 mono-Si wafers have been upward adjusted to RMB 3.69/pc & US$0.501/pc and RMB 3.78/pc & US$0.513/pc respectively. The market of M10 and G12 mono-Si Wafers is comparatively sturdy, where the average prices of M10 and G12 wafers are now at RMB 4.54/pc and RMB 6.16/pc respectively. Quotations of the entire industry chain have experienced a certain degree of propulsion from the perpetually rising polysilicon quotations, especially with the increase in wafer quotations during mid-March that has buffered the cost pressure derived from the partial inflation of polysilicon for wafer businesses.

The multi-Si wafer market was relatively chaotic this week owing to the invigoration from the demand for mono-Si wafers, where a marginal increase has been seen in the overall concluded prices of multi-Si wafer from partial first-tier businesses, which ascended the domestic and overseas average prices of multi-Si wafers to RMB 1.55/pc and US$0.21/pc respectively. The slightly inferior quality and efficiency in wafers produced by SME businesses has impeded transactions after inflation, and businesses are still in the midst of the bargaining phase.


Cell prices remained constant to last week, where the quotations for mono and multi-Si cells are temporarily stabilized. The shipment of cell businesses has been impacted by the continuous rise in polysilicon and wafer prices, as well as the regulation on the utilization rate from module makers due to the cost of materials, and partial mainstream mono-Si cell businesses are continuing from the quotations last week when negotiating for April orders, though the willingness in procurement remained lethargic for the downstream sector, especially with high-efficiency and large-sized cells where the transaction volume is on a continuous declination, which resulted in a significant increase in market inventory. G1 mono-Si cells sit firmly at RMB 0.94/W and US$0.13/W owing to the support from overseas demand, whereas the weaker demand for M16 mono-Si cells has ended up in an accumulation in inventory, and a status of reduced prices for sales has occurred in the market despite the stable average prices at RMB 0.94/W and US$0.95/W. Large-sized cell products have maintained constant in prices to that of last week, of which the average prices for M10 and G12 cells are now at RMB 0.98/W and RMB 0.99/W respectively. For the current mono-Si cell market, a number of integrated businesses possess a relatively sufficient quantity of overseas orders, with unimpeded shipment, while some cell businesses are shifting to the production of small-sized products in order to avoid repeated accumulation of inventory by minimizing the production of M6 cells.

The demand for multi-Si Cells has slightly recovered attributable to the demand for mono-Si cells, with actuation seen in prices, though the overall market quotations are gradually stabilizing due to the comparatively low volume of concluded transactions. The domestic and overseas average prices of multi-Si cells are now maintained steadily at RMB 0.56/W and US$0.078/W respectively.


Module quotations had predominantly remained constant this week, with a minor increase seen in the prices of 182/210 modules. Downstream system providers are successively suspending procurement after module makers attempted to increase the prices last week, which induced an inventory accumulation in partial module makers. The average prices for the 325-335W/395-405W and the 355-365/425-435W mono-Si modules are now at RMB 1.61/W and RMB 1.68/W respectively. In terms of large-sized modules, the minor increase in the tender prices of partial projects owing to the recently rejuvenated demand for domestic ground power stations has stimulated the quotations for the two mainstream modules of M10 and G12 to arrive at RMB 1.68-1.8/W, with an average price of RMB 1.73/W. An observation on the prices, production, and sales of the module sector indicates that the current market quotations are relatively chaotic on the whole, and are mostly acquired from separate negotiations for individual orders. Vertically integrated businesses are grasping on a sufficient quantity of orders, and are more willing in accepting the risen overseas prices of modules compared to the conservative attitude seen from domestic end project suppliers. A number of first-tier businesses are considering to lower on the operating rate in order to respond to the reduced shipment of modules after taking into account how downstream purchasers are no longer able to afford the current cost of modules.

Glass quotations had depleted rapidly this week, and the reduced procurement from the module end had resulted in an apparent impact. The prices of the 3.2mm and 2.0mm glasses are sitting at RMB 37-42/㎡ and roughly RMB 30-32/㎡. As partial first-tier module markers from the upstream sector lower on the operating rate and reduce on the procurement of auxiliary materials such as glass and EVA, the quotations for glass have once again loosened, and a declination has occurred in the market quotations for single-sided and bifacial glasses. As the end of the month approaches, the glass market has started to initiate the negotiations for April, and the prices of glass are expected to be set according to the procurement demand from leading glass businesses and module makers due to the unconfirmed order status next month.