2017-08-31 | Editor : Annie Chueh 1401 pageviews
PV Cell Sector Suffers More Pressure from Seesaw Battle in the Upstream and Downstream: Price Trend
The supply chain of solar energy from this week is similar to that of last week. Upstream prices of polysilicon and si-wafer are high, and they are sold if available. However, downstream prices of PV cell and module are under pressure. Because of the increasing si-wafer price and decreasing PV cell price, the PV cell sector is suffering from the gap. Therefore, it is expected that the utilization rates of PV cell in the next two weeks will decrease.
This week, under the impact of the increasing quoted prices from some of the manufacturers, polysilicon price in China has risen to RMB 146-148/kg. Although si-wafer manufacturers are at the final sprint period now, most of the polysilicon manufacturers state that under this price, downstream manufacturers carry heavy burdens placing the orders. Polysilicon price is expected to decrease in the middle of September, just like si-wafer price.
Although multi-si wafer price in China hasn’t changed a lot this week, the price in Taiwan has increased above US$ 0.72/pc in September. The main reason for this is the market’s rising polysilicon price. Besides, the supply of si-wafer in Taiwan still has a limitation. Under low supply, the market has no choice but to accept the increase in quoted price.
For mono-si wafer, under the impact of dropping production of the leading manufacturer, which takes up 35% in total supply, the price has increased in the market. One reason that the price went up is that the supply is limited and the market has stocked up beforehand. On the other hand, some PV cell manufacturers switched to producing mono-si PV-cells due to the high prices of multi-si wafer. This caused the demand of mono-si wafer to increase.
PV cell is still the core under the seesaw battle of this price trend. Under the request of tier-one module factories, multi-si PV-cell price has dropped to RMB 1.73-1.78/W, which is close to their request of RMB 1.7/W. Currently, although the PV cell manufacturers which have competitive prices have gained profits under this condition, there is no net income. Therefore, they are starting to find various ways to adjust to the market trend, including shortening their utilization rates, changing multi-si production line into mono-si production line, and adopting low-level multi-si wafer. Multi-si PV-cell price is expected to approach RMB 1.68-1.71/W in the next two weeks. It will have to wait until the middle of September, when the upstream price decreases, for the condition to be improved.
Although there is expectation about the demand of “Top Runner Program” in September, the situation has only started to become clear until this week and it is a little later than expected. The main reason is that there are frame problems in some places which caused the delay of installation. The demand of module needs to be observed and it is possible that some installation may be postponed. Therefore, module price basically hasn’t changed a lot this week.