2017-01-05 | Editor : rheatsao 2615 pageviews

Margin of PV Cells Squeezed due to Differentiated Price Trend

For the whole January, orders for solar products across the supply chain has mostly been dealt due to the upcoming Lunar New Year, and EnergyTrend found that the spot prices did not, and will not, significantly fluctuate in the recent.

The strong, expected demand in Chinese market drove many Chinese solar companies to maintain their capacity utilization rates even the Lunar New Year holiday is around the corner. Meanwhile, some Taiwanese solar makers will reduce workforce on duty during the holiday because of low-level prices. Nonetheless, it is forecasted that supplemental orders will be dealt after the Lunar New Year in Taiwan.

Chinese market’s demand to polysilicon will remain strong through February, with the price to stick at around RMB 140 per kg. Price for polysilicon in China is expected to maintain at a higher level in the short run because solar installations will centralize in the first half of this year, as well as some manufacturers’ utilization rate reductions resulted from the high-level price. EnergyTrend projects that the Chinese market’s demand to polysilicon will still be strong amidst this year’s installation rush. In China, the future price for polysilicon will be bargained according to volume of restarted capacity and quality of newly-expanded capacity.

Multi-si wafer’s price has been fixed at around RMB 5~5.05 per piece, or US$ 0.63~0.64 per piece, in the past few weeks, while procurement orders for January have mostly been placed at prices at the same level. Wafer makers tend to deliver products ahead of their original schedules this month to fulfill inventory need; likewise, some solar cell makers prefer receiving wafer products earlier this month because they will stop manufacturing during the holiday. However, most cell manufacturers are relatively conservative to volume of their inventories, resulting that wafer manufacturers will be unlikely to receive large-volume orders until early February.

Mono-si wafer’s price, in the contrast, is still high because strong demand to mono-si PERC cells, which sustains demand to mono-si wafers, despite the continuous price reduction in cell and module sectors.

Prices for both monocrystalline and multicrystalline solar cells keep going downward. Spot price for multi-si cells with efficiency of 18.4% dropped to approximately RMB 1.7~1.73 per watt, or US$0.21~0.215 per watt. Margin of solar cells has been squeezed because the unchanged wafer price level and the downward cell price level. EnergyTrend therefore forecasts that price for multi-si cells will immediately rebound as soon as the market has warmed up, and the market warm-up is expected to emerge in early-to-mid-February at the earliest.

Spot price for mono-si PERC cell have been decreasing due to its huge price gap between multi-si cells. Nonetheless, mono-si PERC cell’s price will return to a stable level along with multi-si cell price’s rebound. 

(Analysis provided by Corrine Lin, analyst at EnergyTrend.)

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