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PV Industry Price Trend: Module Market to Continue Bargaining as Wafers and Cells Follow Up on the Upstream Inflation
2021-05-27   |  Editor:et_editor  |  164 Numbers

Polysilicon 

Polysilicon quotations continued to rise by a significant degree this week. As the end of the month approaches, wafer businesses have been enquiring for June orders, where partial businesses are locking onto long-term orders by spontaneously increasing contract prices, and even negotiating for polysilicon orders in July. The result is an acceleration on the expansion of the mainstream quotation interval for mono polysilicon to RMB 172-205/kg, and mainstream quotations of RMB 80-105/kg for multi polysilicon. Taking into account the survival of the entire industry chain and the partnership with partial regular clients, several polysilicon businesses are willing to maintain on the quotations for a small batch of orders, and the quotation for sporadic mono polysilicon orders has now arrived at RMB 220/kg after continuous ascension. The constrained shipping of imported polysilicon has resulted in high costs and longer transit cycles, and the obstinately high cost of polysilicon procurement has induced slightly chaotic quotations in the relevant market, followed by a further expansion in the quotation interval. 

An observation on the production, operation, and shipment status of the polysilicon sector indicates that the 11 domestic polysilicon businesses are maintaining on a high operating rate in May to respond to the excess demand market status, where the output of 3 businesses is restricted primarily owing to the overhaul on production lines for Xinjiang businesses, and the reduced production load for Inner Mongolia businesses under the energy consumption policy, which resulted in a marginal MoM decrement in the domestic production of polysilicon. Looking into the subsequent market, major polysilicon businesses have tightened on the delivery of long-term orders, though the overhaul of 3 polysilicon businesses in June will continue to affect the supply of the product, and the support in inflation provided by the upstream and downstream sectors may further aggravate the tight provision of polysilicon in the country. 

Wafers 

Wafer quotations continued to surge this week. The excess demand status in polysilicon since the second quarter has exceeded the market anticipation, and the constantly rising polysilicon quotations have prompted leading wafer businesses Longi and CMC to increase their quotations during late-May, which pushed the average prices of G1 & M6 mono-Si wafers and M10 & G12 wafers to RMB 4.7/pc & RMB 4.85/pc and RMB 5.87/pc & RMB 7.77/pc respectively. On the other hand, the incessant tight supply of wafers persists from the damaged equipment, confined output, and the partial overhaul on production lines in the production bases of leading wafer businesses induced by the earthquake in Yunnan and Qinghai last week, and the inflation on wafer quotations has yet to decelerate owing to the rising polysilicon prices. 

The relatively restricted output of multi polysilicon owing to the upstream supply of polysilicon has resulted in a continuous constrained order status and an evident degree of inflation in quotations, which stimulated the domestic and overseas average prices of multi-Si wafers to RMB 2.45/pc and US$0.335/pc respectively. 

Cells

Cell quotations had comprehensively risen this week, and the pressure of cost is still transmitted to the downstream sector. Mono-Si cells have been simultaneously increased in prices thanks to the inflation tendency of the upstream industry chain, and leading cell business Tongwei had increased the prices this week for the third time in May, with a continual constant price level in the latest quotations of M6 and G12 cells, which indicates a continuous cultivation in the promotion schedule of large-sized products. In terms of mono-Si cells, the average prices of G1 and M6 had been elevated to RMB 1.1/W and RMB 1.05/W respectively, where large-sized M10 and G12 cells had risen to roughly RMB 1.05/W. Regarding multi-Si cells, the pressure of cost continues to transmit to the downstream sector, and the prices had slowed down from the previous inflation tendency this week, whereas the constant invigoration of robust downstream order demand has ascended the domestic and overseas average prices of multi-Si cells to RMB 0.82/W and US$0.113/W. 

In terms of the overall operating rate in cells, the utilization of professionalized cell businesses has decreased significantly, and the delivery of cells has slightly decelerated due to the market differentiation from the demand end. Partial businesses have commented on the relatively chaotic market quotations recently, and the price adjustment this time indicates the swiftly altered status of the cell sector, with actual market prices changing even faster than the quotations from businesses. As long as the inflation trend of the upstream industry chain remains unabated, the cell sector is forced to continue to transmit the relevant cost. 

Modules

Module quotations had slightly risen this week, where the price of mono-Si module has essentially exceeded RMB 1.8/W. With the constantly rising quotations in upstream products of the PV industry chain, most quotations of first-tier modules are now fluctuating at RMB 1.8/W, though there has been a gradual increase in orders that are concluded at RMB 1.9/W, and the quotations in the module market are approaching the RMB 2/W threshold. The average prices of the 325-335W/395-405W and the 355-365/430-440W mono-Si modules are now sitting at RMB 1.68/W and RMB 1.72/W respecively. Large-sized M10 and G12 modules have been revised to RMB 1.8/W in average prices. 

Module makers have been upward adjusting on their quotations, which imposes a predicament for end projects. An observation on the recent tender status for central and state-owned enterprises indicates that partial figures from the tender end have commented on the comparatively large degree of uncertainty on the demand for modules, and that supply will be implemented based on the actual demand from initiated projects. In addition, leading makers as well as second and third-tier makers have exhibited significant differentiation in tender quotations under the altered prices in the first half of 2021, where second and third-tier makers have won a sizeable degree of low priced tenders. The actual delivery of makers is worthy of observation in the subsequent market, where a renegotiation is likely to occur again. 

Glass quotations had a minor fluctuation this week, where 3.2mm and 2.0mm glasses are now sitting at RMB 22-23/㎡ and roughly RMB 19-20/㎡. Glass businesses are still experiencing strenuous shipment this week, though they are no longer reducing prices mindlessly being confined by the cost, and are shifting to a wait-and-see attitude regarding the recent market development. 

(Image:Kimco Realty via Flickr CC BY 2.0)

 
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