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Photovoltaic Industry Price Trend: Polysilicon Prices Expected to Rise to New Heights in 3rd Quarter as Upstream Inflation Persists in Wafers and Cells
2021-05-13   |  Editor:et_editor  |  260 Numbers

Polysilicon

Polysilicon quotations had elevated drastically this week, with no stoppages seen just yet. Most polysilicon businesses have signed for the long-term orders of this month after the Labor Day holiday, with the average concluded price of mono polysilicon sitting at roughly RMB 155/kg, though the continuously rising concluded prices for partial sporadic orders have actuated the mainstream quotations for mono polysilicon to RMB 148-162/kg, whereas multi polysilicon is now RMB 65-80/kg in mainstream quotations. Most polysilicon businesses have commented that the recent polysilicon quotations have yet to stop wafer businesses from requesting quotes, and the supply of polysilicon resources remains severely constrained. 

An observation on the production, operation, and shipment status of the polysilicon sector indicates that polysilicon businesses have successively begun overhaul starting from May, which is expected to impact partial output of Xinte Energy and Daqo New Energy. In addition, GCL-Poly and OCI are also planning for an overhaul during the third quarter, when the shortage in polysilicon is anticipated to be the most serious. Apart from the intensive overhaul that impacts the supply of polysilicon, the successive release in wafer capacity from Gaojing and SANY in the second half of 2021 will also contribute to the aggravated shortages in wafers during the third quarter, which may once again surge the relevant prices to new heights. 

Wafers

Wafer quotations continued to elevate this week, and the multi-Si wafer market is filled with a strong wait-and-see attitude. The inflation in polysilicon has yet to suspend after the Labor Day Holiday, and wafers are forced to follow up on the inflation due to cost pressure. As indicated by the latest list prices of CMC, the quotations for all mono-Si products have marginally risen, and the inflation of various sized 175μm products is at 7.92%-9.05%. Despite no new list prices by another leading business, static surrounding an inflation has been manifested. The average prices of G1 and M6 mono-Si wafers are now sitting at RMB 4.2/pc and RMB 4.35/pc respectively, whereas G12 wafers are now RMB 7.15/pc in average price. In terms of multi-Si wafers, the pandemic status in India has resulted in restricted accesses between cities, and a number of government agencies have been temporarily shut down. Multi-Si wafer suppliers and clients are currently upholding a wait-and-see attitude, and businesses are less willing in signing for long-term orders, whereas the incessant inflation in multi-Si products has elevated the overall domestic and overseas average concluded prices to RMB 2.05/W and US$0.282/W. 

Judging by the overall wafer market, the insufficient supply of wafers in May may result in a continuous rise in prices. The purchase willingness in mono and multi-Si wafers remains strong, where the relevant shipment is comparatively smooth. Longi is likely to continue elevating the prices of wafers in mid-May, and the lack of polysilicon supply has prompted partial businesses to actively negotiate with traders on outsourcing wafers, whereas integrated businesses are also constrained by the supply of polysilicon, which will lower the output of wafers. 

Cells

Cell quotations had slightly risen this week, with downstream procurement demand intensified at the same time. After a marginal increase in the quotations for upstream polysilicon and wafers, leading cell businesses have also implemented new pricing on the products at an increase of RMB 0.02-0.03/W, which pushes the average prices of G1 and M6 to RMB 0.96/W and RMB 0.9/W respectively. Sources have commented that the inflation trend has yet to suspend in the cell market, and there have been new changes to cell prices in the market after the latest quotations published by leading businesses, where partial mono-Si G12 products can go as high as RMB 0.98/W in quotations. However, there were fewer concluded orders this week, with most of them still in the negotiation phase, which led to the average prices of M10 and G12 cells being RMB 0.91/W and RMB 0.92/W respectively. 

An observation on the overall cell market indicates that the demand for G1 and M6 cells has been propelled alongside a recovered operating rate from the module end, and that the upstream wafer sector has a higher tolerance in polysilicon inflation by incorporating the anticipated polysilicon prices in the rise of quotations, which induced a continuous transmission of cost pressure to the downstream sector. The insufficient supply of wafers continues to impact the operating rate of cells in May, and integrated businesses are also producing cells using their existing wafer inventory. M10 and G12 cells are currently in market promotion, and with the demand yet to release in an extensive scale, downstream businesses are implementing procurement through lowering the cost of cells, which further contracts the price differences between M10 & G12 cells and M6. 

Modules 

The overall module prices remained sturdy this week, with apparent signs in rising quotations from businesses in the subsequent market. Leading businesses are currently finalizing on prices, where the average price of the 325-335W/395-405W and the 355-365/430-440W mono-Si modules remain at RMB 1.62/W and RMB 1.72/W respectively. Despite temporal sturdiness in module prices this week, as well as comparatively robust PV glass prices, where the price difference between single glass and bifacial glass modules is maintained at RMB 0.05/W, module makers are preparing to increase the prices in the face of cost pressure coming from the upstream sector. Recent tenders have reflected the tendency in rising module prices, and the elevating prices of cables and frames required by end projects have directly ascended the EPC cost of power stations, which resulted in the primary market demand being impelled by ground projects and the residential market. 

Regarding overseas markets, the extended cost and cycle in transportation, especially with the course reduction by shipping companies, have intensified on the pressure of shipping, and the inflation in modules has induced a postponement for partial projects in the end market. For the traditional markets, businesses have commented that their existing and new orders are primarily invigorated by ground power stations and market distribution, including the catch-up on partial projects. Pertaining to emerging markets, the larger level of sensitivity towards inflation has led to decelerated progresses for a number of markets. 

(Image:Michael Mees via Flickr CC BY 2.0)

 
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