2017-07-06 | Editor : rheatsao 1424 pageviews
Demand Wasn't Frozen after June 30 but Outlook is Hugely Uncertain: Price Trend
After China’s installation rush by June 30th was over, PV supply chain price and demand didn't sharply drop as expected, but even slightly moved up. Thus, PV manufacturers' opinion toward upcoming price direction varied from one another.
Based on EnergyTrend's survey, this week all segments of supply chain's final prices mostly stayed stable. Exceptions were the following: Overseas products showed mild price uptrend. Average mono-si demand dropped, so its prices fell slightly. As for the outlook, si wafer will be in short supply. Orders have booked entire month's production. Thus, si wafer's price rise is definite. Regarding the rest of segments, in particular the downstream, price quotations showed a mix of up and down. Expectation from all sides differ from each other a lot.
With respect to polysilicon, downstream si wafer orders have accumulated to a future duration, so its price rose. During this week, the amount of multi-si firms in China who increased price quotations grew. However, merely some buyers accept the slightly rising prices for the following reasons: International multi-si prices did not change, and the market demand has not reached the intensified status.
EnergyTrend expected, for now the downstream PV market in mainland China has not accumulated many orders to further future. Si wafer enterprises do receive international demand. Nonetheless, as local demand from mainland China dropped, si wafer orders' growth rate is slowing down. Multi-si price will begin to fall due to si wafer manufacturers' request. This price drop is expected to take place between mid-July and early August.
Si wafer has still been a strong segment in terms of demand this week. Its prices did not change much. However, most of company orders have booked to the end of July. This has been the best demand among all segments. Si wafer manufacturers' capacity utilization rates are maintained at peak. Thus, si wafer manufacturers will gain greater voice this month. In other words, downstream PV cell manufacturers' price negotiation power will be weakened this month.
Si wafer price in Taiwan mildly rose this week mainly because individual manufacturers raised price later than it should have for ultra-high-efficiency si wafer. When multi-si and mono-si wafer are compared, mono-si wafer price peaked and demand remained sluggish in the short run. Mono-si wafer demand is expected to grow due to the Section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974 in USA and Top Runner Program in China. However, mono-si wafer manufacturers would prevent the price gap between mono-si wafer and multi-si wafer from expanding too much, and prevent mono-si wafer market share from shrinking. Therefore, atmosphere to lower mono-si wafer price is still strong.
This week PV cell price stayed constant, but its future direction is to be carefully watched. The PV cell demand in markets outside of China and Taiwan stayed strong. However, PV cell price reached the ceiling that downstream module houses could accept. Currently, Taiwan manufacturers' PV cell price has exceeded above US $0.235/W. As to the markets (outside of China and Taiwan), price can hit US $0.245/W. As to the mainstream price of PV cells in mainland China, they were generally above RMB 1.8~1.83/W. With respect to mono-si PV cells, this week the downstream demand turned weak. Hence, most module houses' factory schedules have centered on multi-si PV cells for delayed fulfillment from Chinese orders by June 30th. Accordingly, mono-si PV cell price dropped mildly.
This week, module price slightly rose in markets other than China and Taiwan. The price rise speed apparently slowed down. Before further news of the Section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974 in the USA breaks, price is expected not to rise again. As to mainland China, tier-one manufacturers' module production schedules are booked to the end of July. However, China's domestic demand is expected to become weak during the last 10 days of July, so its price would mostly maintain stable.
(Analysis provided by Jason Tsai, analyst at EnergyTrend. Translated by Janet Chen and copy-edited by Kevin Yang, translators of TrendForce Corp.)