Polysilicon Continues to Be in Short Supply Which Leads to Unstable Prices in the Supply Chain: Price Trend
Shortfall in supply of polysilicon has remained this week, which results in the surging price and causes great effect to the industrial supply chain due to the uncertainty of raw material’s quantity and price. Compared with downstream supply chain, wafer still has the bargaining advantage. Therefore, the rising cost of polysilicon can be shifted downward. However, the condition of PV cell doesn’t look that well. Because of low demand of China and modules’ inability to accept rising price, most manufacturers are reluctant about accepting the rising prices of PV cell suppliers. Only first-tier manufacturers are able to handle the slight price hikes with the support of America’s high amount of orders. Besides, since Taiwan’s PV-cell firms can fulfill the US and European markets’ demand with zero or lower tax rate, the range for raising price is bigger than that in China.
Polysilicon price has kept surging this week. Because shortfall ofpolysilicon occurs when the condition of supply and demand is tight and the unexpected event happens, it can be difficult for full order downstream wafer suppliers to handle. They need to purchase spot goods in high price, which results in much higher prices of polysilicon. There are even customers who purchased America’s polysilicon with high anti-dumping duty. Spot good price in China has already reached RMB 140-145/kg, and is still going up, leading to the rise of polysilicon price in Korea and in America. The price is currently between US$13.4-16.4/kg.
Under the impact of price hike of polysilicon price, multi-si wafer’s spot price increased to the next level as well. However, because of last month’s contract price, si-wafer firms are still expected to be impacted by the highly unstable prices and supply of polysilicon.
Prices of ultra high-performance multi-si wafers have been in a state of chaos this week. Due to the instability of the cost, many firms in China are unwilling to provide quoted prices. The range of mainstream price is RMB 5.15-5.3/pc, while the international price is US$ 0.68-0.7/pc. As to mono-si wafer, the shortfall of multi-si wafer has already led to a shift in orders for mono-si wafer, and the price gap between them is nearly approaching RMB0.6/pc. However, the quantity still isn’t enough to support the capacity, and it remains narrowly stable.
Because some Chinese and Taiwanese PV cell manufacturers’ downstream demand varied this week, PV cell prices were slightly raised up but basically the price trend was stable. Chinese PV cell price reached RMB 1.82~1.84/W and Taiwan’s came to US $0.236~0.239/W. From PV cell manufacturers’ perspective, as mid-stream companies were at a disadvantage because the upstream of supply chain raised prices and the downstream pressed for lowering prices, some PV cell manufacturers encountered upstream si-wafer supply shortage, and these manufacturers couldn’t afford to purchase products with high spot price. Therefore, they had to temporarily shut down some production lines.
The PV module demand in the domestic market of China was not urgent, so PV module companies took more effort to maintain stable prices and prevent prices from falling. In contrast, PV module prices outside of China region will have the potential to grow because the US market demand will enter a period of peak demand. Regarding to the US market, initial investigation result of the Section 201 petition will be officially announced on September 22. PV industry believes that they must finish the custom entry for PV modules before the date above, in order to avoid possible risks. If duration of maritime shipping is added to the equation, the end of August will be the final due date. As a result, end-market prices are expected to ramp up, and tier-one module factories in China will increase their utilization rates.