Price Drop across Multi-si Value Chain Continues and Embroils Price Trend of Mono-si Products
Solar-grade polysilicon became sufficient in supply due to production capacity recovery. However, price and order drops of multi-si wafers forced polysilicon price to slightly decrease during this week although relatively strong demand to mono-si wafers has helped sustain the price. EnergyTrend expects that polysilicon price will go down to near RMB135 per kg. China’s installation rush ahead of June 30 has yet come, brings none extra demand through March. This may be relative to some factors such as land use restrictions. Also, China offered additional installation targets in the very last week of 2016 and many companies have filed for the extra FIT subsidy. However, it has been yet unveiled whether the filed companies are qualified for additional FIT subsidy or not, until now.
Multi-si wafer’s price has dropped to around US$0.63 per piece, and ultra-high-efficiency multi-si wafer’s price fell to US$0.66 per piece as well. The foreseeable price decline in polysilicon sector would relief cost pressure on multi-si wafer makers. Nonetheless, downstream demand will ultimately be crucial for the quotes to raise or to fall. During this week, multi-si PV cell’s price in Chinese market was almost the same with in last week, contrary to in Taiwanese market, where the quote has fallen below manufacturing costs. Taiwanese multi-si cell makers can only opt to reduce their utilization rates. In March, most Taiwanese multi-si cell makers have reduced their utilization rates to 50% to 60%, those that operate at rate of approximately 70% are relatively rare. However, such a utilization rate decline would become moderate soon, expected EnergyTrend.
Mono-si products are unable to except themselves from the overall price decline trend. This week, price of mono-si wafers dropped a little by US$0.05~0.1 per piece, driving average selling price of mono-si PV cells to decrease to around US$0.248 per watt in China. On the contrary, Taiwanese market was suffered from supply shortage of mono-si wafers so the quote increased by US$0.1 per piece. PV modules, which have been encountering issues of weak demand, is facing stress of piling up inventory. For both multi-si and mono-si PV modules, their quotes averagely fell by US$0.002 per watt in the past week.
In China, the lowest bid prices for multi-si and mono-si modules for large-scale PV power plant auctions have already fell below RMB 3 per watt. EnergyTrend expects that mono-si products’ price could be maintained at a stable level due to continues market demand, but multi-si products will confront deeper price pressure as long as there comes no stronger demand in near future. It is unavoidable for multi-si wafer makers to transfer cost pressure to polysilicon sector. As for the mid- to downstream sectors, margin of multi-si PV cell makers has already been over squeezed so PV cell sector’s price drop would slow down by late March, unless module sector’s inventory pressure increased.