Upstream and Downstream Conditions Become Diverse, PV Cell Price Suffers from Both Sides: Price Trend
This week, after the improvement of shortfall of polysilicon, the supply chain basically remains stable. However, due to the tight supply of polysilicon, the price is still high and made si-wafer price become high at the same time. Nevertheless, the downstream pressure is affecting the supply chain, bringing more pressure of lowering prices to PV cell and module manufacturers. Compared to PV cell manufacturers, part of the tier-one module factories has more abilities to handle the situation when production line stops. Also, the businesses of PV cell manufacturers usually focus on specific module manufacturers. These have made the PV cell manufacturers become the core under the seesaw battle between the upstream and downstream prices this week.
Polysilicon price is stable this week. The price in China is still RMB 140-145/kg. Even if the quoted price is over RMB 145, their transaction numbers are still very low. In the overseas market, there are higher ranges from Korean manufacturers, but basically the spot price is over US$ 17/kg. Because of the limitation in supply, polysilicon price is expected to remain high until early September. Afterwards, the price may fall slightly due to the limited demand of polysilicon, yet, there will be a lot of demands from the “Top Runner Program” in September, so the decline is expected to be limited.
This week, there is basically no purchase of multi-si wafers, so their price remains the same. However, the manufacturers are careful with the quoted price next month. On one hand, it is because of the uncertainty of polysilicon price. On the other hand, they are worried about the downstream demand. Therefore, they are careful with their quoted price strategy. Because polysilicon price has surged, more manufacturers may raise the quoted prices in September by 1-2 cents. As for mono-si wafers, their quoted price is expected to increase by at least 2 cents, as the main supplier will stop producing in September. The small and medium-sized suppliers are expected to have higher increase.
PV cell manufacturers this week suffered the pressure from tier-one module factories in China. They are asked to lower the prices much more. PV cell industries generally can’t take the request to lower prices since si-wafer price is still high. Therefore, their inventory levels have started to go up, which is expected to lead to an increase in sell-off activity in the spot market. At present, the spot price is already at RMB 1.76-1.80/W. However, because there are different pressures from the orders of module manufacturers, the pressures of lowering price that the main PV cell manufacturers suffer this week are not the same. Some of the PV cell manufacturer have not lowered the price this week, and the price remains at RMB 1.83-1.85/W. Based on the fact that the downstream demand of polysilicon is starting to decrease, it is expected that the high price will also start to go down next week.
Mono-si module price in China has fallen to RMB 2.95-2.98/W because of the downstream sector’s decreasing demand. However, because the “Top Runner Program” has made the demand of mono-si increase, and because mono-si wafer price in September has risen, mono-si module price is starting to go up to the original level. As for multi-si module, it is still suffering downstream pressure, and the price is going down at a slow pace on the Chinese market. As the demand of the Section 201 petition slows down, the total average price is expected to decline.