Weaker PV Demand in 1Q17 Results in Wait-and-See Mode for April: Price Trend
The PV market continued to witness weak demand in March, leading to lower-than-expected demand in 1Q17. Polysilicon prices started to decline slightly in mid-March. This week, the polysilicon market saw more significant decline in prices. Most top-tier polysilicon makers performed long-term contract production, resulting in less active price quote. The trading volume remained low, with the market being in wait-and-see mode. The average trading price of polysilicon has dropped below RMB 130/kg this week and may decline further in April.
The wafer sector saw continuous decline in prices this week. The average trading price of super high-efficiency multi-Si wafers dropped substantially to below US$ 0.60/pc this week, while that of high-efficiency multi-Si wafers declined RMB 0.02-0.03/pc to RMB 4.7-4.8/pc. Last week, the price gap between super high-efficiency and high-efficiency wafers reached US$ 0.03/pc, but there’s barely any price gap between the two this week.
The sales of multi-Si wafers this week was similar to polysilicon, with the trading volume remaining low. In addition, the inventory level has slowly piled up for multi-Si wafers. Order visibility also remained unclear for April. For mono-Si wafers, prices stayed flat and will continue to remain stable in April.
The cell market witnessed stable prices but weak demand this week. The average trading price of cells reached US$ 0.20/W. Since multi-Si wafer prices may decline in April, cell maker’s price pressure will be alleviated. Taiwanese manufacturers may be able to raise their capacity utilization rates. For mono-Si cells, due to the continuous short supply, some manufacturers have begun to produce multi-Si PERC cells in order to increase PERC capacity utilization rates.
Module prices stayed flat. But due to weak end-user demand, the module market held conservative attitude. Module makers hope demand may increase in April owing to China’s installation boom before June 30th.