Weak Demand in PV Market Constrains Si-Wafer Sector from Price Rebound: Price Trend
The overall solar PV demand was weaker than expected during the first quarter of 2017, so it is unsure if the downward price trend could be reverse in April, found EnergyTrend.
Polysilicon’s price started decreasing last week and through this week, down to RMB 137~139 per kg. EnergyTrend forecasts that polysilicon price will gradually but moderately fall. The price would ultimately drop to a level of RMB135 per kg by the end of March given the steady demand from mono-si sector.
Multi-si wafer sector’s price decrease rate was still steep even polysilicon’s price has started to fall. Some super-high-efficiency multi-si wafer manufacturers even suspended offering their quotations in this week because the price was too bad. Downstream market demand is unlikely to turn warm in the short term, either. As a result, high-efficiency multi-si wafer’s price could drop below US$0.60 per piece in next week. Likewise, quote of mono-si wafers offered by some manufacturers dropped by RMB 0.02~0.03 per piece although in slight supply shortage. The average quote for mono-si wafers has declined by US$0.005 per piece in this week.
Quote level of multi-si PV cells maintained over the past week. However, multi-si cells’ spot price has decreased to US$0.198 per watt due to inventory piling-up. In the meantime, price of mono-si PV cells in this week was stuck at almost the same level with in last week because of supply shortage of mono-si wafers.
However, Chinese PV manufacturers are truly cutting orders for mono-si PERC cells, which would lead to a flat price trend through March for both multi-si and mono-si PV cells. Whether PV cells’ price would rebound in April will be determined by two factors: first, if the downstream demand would go stronger, and second, if SNEC to be held in Shanghai in April would stimulate procurement.
In Taiwanese market, many local PV cell makers has reduced their utilization rates for inventory and operating costs control since March. Nonetheless, order cuts by Chinese manufacturers causes severe impact on Taiwan PV cell makers. EnergyTrend expects that price of PV cell sector will go downturn in near future.
As for PV modules in Chinese market, price of multi-si PV modules with power output of 270W has already dropped below RMB 3 per watt. While the price decrease only reflected a scale of US$0.001 per watt in the past week thanks to RMB exchange depreciation. Price of mono-si PV modules also dropped by RMB 0.02~0.03 per watt compared with in last week, also being forced by sluggish market demand.