2017-01-12 | Editor : rheatsao 2705 pageviews

Price for Mid-stream PV Sectors May Hike after the Lunar New Year: Price Trend

Prices across the PV supply chain gradually stop fluctuating as it is close to the Lunar New Year. Most Chinese solar vendors will continue manufacturing products during the holiday, while some Chinese polysilicon and Taiwanese PV cell makers will reduce production capacity due to low-end price level, bringing slight supply shortage afterwards. Consequently, prices for wafers and PV cells may increase after the Lunar New Year, expected EnergyTrend.

Price for polysilicon in February may start decreasing due to expanded capacities, yet it is possible to remain at a high level of RMB 140 per kg in China. It is even possible for certain product price to peak to RMB 142~143 per kg, due to a forecasted strong demand driven by China’s installation rush by June 30, 2017. In the short term, polysilicon price will stay at a relatively higher level in China, which will also sustain non-China polysilicon to be traded at approximately US$14~15.5 per kg.

Procurement for multi-si wafers for January has already ordered with a stable price range of RMB 5~5.05 per piece, or US$ 0.63~0.64 per piece. However, possible supply shortage of super high-efficiency multi-si wafers may lead to a price hike due to inventory needs during, as well as production suspension during the Lunar New Year.

Furthermore, supply shortage of mono-si wafers is unlikely to be lessened through the first quarter of 2017. If price for multi-si wafers increases, the price gap between mono-si and multi-si wafers will again be reduced, helping maintain price level of mono-si wafers in short-term supply shortage.

Spot prices for mono-si and multi-si cells have both converged to stable level during this week, of which multi-si cells with 18.4% conversion efficiency at RMB 17.~1.73 per watt, or US$ 0.21~0.215 per watt, and standard mono-si cells at around US$0.24 per watt. However, spot price for mono-si PERC cells have generally dropped below US$0.3 per watt.

Such a bottom-leveled price enhanced volume of cell purchase from module manufacturers, worsening the supply shortage of mono-si cells. In addition, it is becoming difficult to buy China’s local-made PV cells. As a result, EnergyTrend forecasts that prices of both multi-si and mono-si cells will rebound immediately after the New Year holiday, when will be in early February.

Mono-si PERC cells’ price would be the exception because margin and spot price of mono-si PERC cells are both higher than standard cells. The price gap between mono-si PERC cells and standard cells will be too large to eliminate even though spot prices for standard cells would increase in early February. EnergyTrend expects price for mono-si PERC cells to be restricted at the same level in the short term.

Price trend for PV modules would remain flat due to oversupply, despite the upward trend in mid-stream sectors. Spot price of modules in Chinese market could be sustained or slightly increased thanks to the nation’s strong demand, while in other markets would go downwards. The flat price trend for PV modules may restrict scale of price raise in the mid-stream sectors, too.

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

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