2017-09-21 | Editor : Annie Chueh 1322 pageviews

Market Adopts Wait and See Attitude Ahead of Section 201 Ruling: Price Trend

The shortfall of polysilicon which resulted from the explosion at the Wacker chemical plant in the US has begun. Because the main buyers of the plant come from Taiwan and Southeast Asia, the changes in price has started from these regions. However, since the main polysilicon usage around the world comes from China, its average price has not changed that much.

Except polysilicon, the other markets have remained stable, with manufacturers from each segment taking a wait-and-see attitude. This week, the first ruling on Section 201 case of the US will come out. The result will confirm whether there is protection for the domestic solar cell manufacturing industry in the future. In addition, it will also allow for a better understanding of US ITC’s protectionist policies. Nevertheless, unless the conclusion is clear, the outlook of the market will not become certain until the end of the Oct. 1 long holiday in China. In the following two weeks, the focus will be on short-term stocking. Thus, if the supply can’t meet the demand, it may result in the surge of price.

Polysilicon

Due to the explosion at the Wacker chemical plant in the US, there is a 30% shortage in polysilicon in Taiwan. Although most of the manufacturers have stocks, under the expectation that Wacker is unable to recover in the short-term, each company has been seeking for substitute resources actively since last week. This has caused the spot market’s supplies to temporarily run out this week, resulting in an increase in price. The polysilicon price in China this week remains at RMB 146-148/kg and in Taiwan it is USD 17.8-18.3/kg. Next week, the polysilicon price in China is expected to rise slightly. However, due to the observation period and the focus on demand of distributed system in Q4, there are more loose orders that make it hard to prepare materials by the end of Q3. The increase of polysilicon price is therefore limited.

Si-Wafer

Si-wafer price has hit a plateau this week. Because of the cost advantage of using advanced diamond wire cutting technology, which allows manufacturers to save and consume up to 23% more silicon material, diamond wire cut multi-si wafer has now become the first choice for manufacturers with high polysilicon price in the upstream. At the same time, downstream PV manufacturers’ technique for dealing with diamond wire cut multi-si wafer has matured. The penetration rate has reached 50%. Because the supply is unable to meet the surging demand of downstream in the short-term, the supply remains tight.

In addition to the one-week power rationing in September for mono-si wafer leading manufacturers, the Oct. 1 long holiday will lead to a decrease of 9% in mono-si wafer supply of September and October. However, because the price had already been adjusted two weeks ago, it is expected to remain steady unless temporary demand occurs.

PV cell

This week, PV cell price remains steady as well. Under the trend that the application rates of multi-crystalline black silicon and diamond wire cut PV cell is increasing, the average PV cell price is falling owing to the demand of reducing price in the downstream. Multi-si PV-cell price this week is RMB 1.73-1.75/W and diamond wire cut multi-si PV-cell price is RMB 1.68-1.7/W.

Module

There is stability in the module segment this week. Driven by rumors of the reduction in profit and subsidy, the demand of distributed system in China has kept rising. The other overseas markets are sluggish, except Turkey that has steady demand due to its policy. Besides, for Indian market, although there are only few orders in Q3 because of the high price for module, with the applications of diamond wire cut product, the demand in India has made a breakthrough. It is expected that the demand in the Indian market will improve slightly next month. Overall, under the estimation that the demand of distributed system in China may surge dramatically, multi-si module price will remain weak, at RMB2.75-2.8/W.

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