Photovoltaic Industry Price Trend: Inflation Pressure in Cells are Relatively Mitigated amidst the Continuously Rising Prices of Polysilicon and Wafers, Reports TrendForce
The inflation trend of the polysilicon market remained unabated this week, where mono polysilicon had experienced an apparent rise, and multi polysilicon was comparatively stable. As the end of the month approaches, partial polysilicon businesses have started to negotiate on orders for May, with new quotations sitting above RMB 140/kg on average, though there were fewer concluded orders, where a number of businesses are still reluctant in sales. The average price of mono polysilicon has now arrived at RMB 145/kg, whereas multi polysilicon is still sitting on an average price identical to that of last week at RMB 74/kg with insignificant changes in prices. The continuous amplification in the domestic demand for polysilicon, as well as the anticipation from wafer businesses regarding an even more constrained supply of polysilicon in the subsequent market, have actuated a further rise in overseas polysilicon quotations, where the average price has been upward adjusted to US$18.422/kg.
An observation on the production, operation, and shipment status of the polysilicon sector indicates that domestic and overseas polysilicon businesses have postponed overhaul in order to fulfill orders, and the overall sector is maintained on a relatively high operating rate. Equipment maintenance or power restrictions have impacted a small amount of output for a number of production bases in Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia, though the release of new capacity from GCL and the production resumption from Sino-Si is contributing to the gradually increase supply volume of polysilicon. However, the stocking amidst the Labor Day Holiday for the wafer market, as well as the deferred implementation of long-term polysilicon orders from partial businesses, have resulted in an overall wafer demand that is still higher than that of supply. The market is anticipating for another inflation in polysilicon. With a restricted degree of tolerance, the shortage and inflation of multi polysilicon has led to an insufficient operating rate in the downstream sector, and the overall increase of polysilion may progressively reduce.
Wafer quotations continued to rise this week, where mono and multi-Si wafers had increased in prices simultaneously. Owing to an insufficient supply of polysilicon in the market, the overall operating rate of the wafer market has been downward adjusted, and there are wafer businesses who have begun seeking for businesses with available polysilicon to accept the commission on wafer production. Regarding mono-Si wafer prices, wafer leader Longi is adhering to a constant list price for May, whereas CMC has upward adjusted its list price on a slightly decelerated pace compared to early April, which prompted the average prices of G1 and M6 mono-Si wafers to RMB 3.9/pc and RMB 3.05/pc respectively. In terms of large-sized wafers, M10 is temporarily maintained at RMB 4.86/pc this week, whereas G12 has risen to RMB 6.55/pc alongside the new list prices revealed by businesses.
A tight supply has been seen in multi-Si wafers owing to the recovered domestic and overseas demand, as well as the insufficient supply of polysilicon, though businesses are starting to adopt a wait-and-see attitude imputable to the pandemic status in India and rising quotations, and the market is currently focused on spot transactions. There is an increasing number of businesses who are offering RMB 2 or above this week, and the overall average concluded prices are still ascending. The domestic and overseas average prices have now risen to RMB 1.9/pc and US$0.26/pc respectively.
Cell quotations had slightly fluctuated this week, where the increase in multi-Si products had been relatively evident, and the quotations for mono-Si products were comparatively sturdy. Due to the growth in downstream procurement, the demand for partial products in the cell market this week had recovered owing to the reduced production from several cell businesses on account of insufficient wafers and high cost. As for mono-Si cells, the evident weakening signs in G1 demand has prompted a small number of businesses to loosen on their quotations, though the inflation in upstream wafers has led to a minor increase in the overall quotations, with the average price now arriving at RMB 0.94/W. The average price of M6 had arrived at RMB 0.88/W this week being the current driving force of market demand, where the increase in the operating rate of downstream module makers has led to a spontaneous purchase of M6 cells, and the stocking of inventory after the Labor Day Holiday for upstream and downstream businesses has also contributed to the inflation dynamics. Large-sized cells are currently amidst market promotion, and the demand for 182 and 210 has yet to release in an extensive scale within the industry, where downstream businesses are procuring through a suppression of cell cost, which has impelled relatively stabilized quotations.
The gradually elevating popularity in multi-Si cells due to the end demand has generated a slightly constrained supply, which further drives up the quotations for multi-Si products, with an overall increase of RMB 0.02-0.03/W. On the other hand, the fluctuating pandemic status in the Indian market and the escalation in purchase cost have prompted downstream clients to start to hold back on procurement, which propels the domestic and overseas average prices of multi-Si cells to RMB 0.71/W and US$0.097/W.
Module quotations had slightly fluctuated this week, where the inflation of multi-Si module quotations were relatively apparent. As May approaches, partial end businesses have reduced the anticipation on profit under the pressure of installation target and project duration, which stimulates a gradual release of demand for module tenders. As commented by relevant project providers, the winning bid price for mono-Si M6 modules in partial domestic projects has now arrived at RMB 1.78/W, and a number of small businesses are also attempting to follow up on the price rise. First-tier module makers are unable to accept new loss-making orders due to the consideration on essential profitability, and partial SME makers are continuing the increase in operating rate during late-April as their products are not desired by tenders. The average prices of the 325-335W/395-405W and the 355-365/430-440W mono-Si modules are maintained at RMB 1.62/W and RMB 1.72/W respectively.
Multi-Si modules have experienced an increase of roughly 1-2% in the new quotations and concluded prices for May thanks to the inflation in upstream materials and the recovered end demand, where the domestic and overseas quotations for the 275-280 / 330-335W multi-Si module have once again been upward adjusted to RMB 1.45/W and US$0.198/W.
Glass quotations had marginally declined this week, where the prices of the 3.2mm and 2.0mm glasses were sitting at RMB 24-26/㎡ and RMB 20-22/㎡ respectively. As the end of the month approaches, most glass businesses have begun negotiating for the new orders of May, and are exhibiting a comparatively passive attitude regarding prices in order to conclude orders, which explains the slight depletion. The price differences between single-sided and bifacial glasses are expected to diminish in the subsequent market, and a recovery in the acceptance of the bifacial glass module market is also anticipated to occur in the foreseeable future.