Si-Wafer Price Decreases Again; Market Condition will Improve after Chinese New Year: Price Trend
The decrease of prices for PV cell and si-wafer in January was quite large. Many medium and small manufacturers needed polysilicon price reduction to gain profits. Thus, they expected the prices of polysilicon used for mono-si and multi-si to be lower than at least RMB 140/kg and RMB 130/kg, respectively. In some cases, some even demanded the prices to be under RMB 120/kg. Yet, because the inventories of most polysilicon manufacturers were short and currently these manufacturers don’t suffer much sales pressure, the chance for price reduction was small, leading to a deadlock between the polysilicon manufacturers and clients. This has caused the numbers of transactions in the spot market to fall. Currently, the polysilicon orders are mostly the ones signed previously.
This week, the price of polysilicon for mono-si was RMB 140-145/kg, while the price of polysilicon for multi-si was RMB 130-138/kg. The polysilicon demand will start to bounce back in March. However, due to the massive-scale production halt from the mid- and downstream supply chain in February, if the polysilicon manufacturers are unable to endure the inventory pressure, afterwards, the price may decrease and meet the si-wafer manufacturers’ expected standard.
Because multi-si PV cell still suffered the pressure of price reduction, the price of multi-si wafer this week declined. However, the overall rate of decline has become smaller. The leading manufacturers of mono-si wafer largely lowered the prices this week in order to maintain the target spread among multi-si wafers. This week, both prices of mono-si and multi-si wafer decreased.
Because the decreasing speed of si-wafer price was quite fast two weeks ago, downstream PV cell manufacturers didn’t dare to purchase; besides, the manufacturers weren’t sure about the demand after Chinese New Year, so the transaction status was weak. This week, mono-si wafer price reached RMB 4.65-5.1/pc and USD 0.65-0.71/pc. Multi-si wafer price reached RMB 3.7-4/pc and USD 0.54-0.56/pc.
As the reduction of PV cell price slows down, si-wafer price reduction trend is expected to come to a halt in February. This will allow suppliers to gain profits again from upstream polysilicon price negotiation.
This week, multi-si PV cell price continued to fall, but the decrease was smaller. The price was RMB 1.32-1.35/W. The price of Taiwanese PV cell reached USD 0.19/W; yet, owing to the relatively large spread between Chinese manufacturers, the price is expected to drop further. Two weeks ago, mono-si PV cell price didn’t decrease massively like multi-si PV cell price, but it slightly decreased for three weeks. Because the current spread between mono-si and multi-si PV cell has reached RMB 0.2/W, afterwards, mono-si PV cell price is expected to decline followed by the decrease of mono-si wafer price to increase the competitiveness on the market.
Because of the sluggish market in China and PV cell price reduction, module price has kept decreasing since January. With the weak demand on the entire market and the declining module price, the price–performance ratio of mono-si PERC module has grown dramatically and become the mainstream on the mono-si market.
After Chinese New Year, the installation in China, which was postponed in January due to heavy snow, is expected to be unfolded again; besides, with the demand from the European market in March, the entire market after March is expected to bounce back.