PVinsights: Upstream Made Slight Rise amid Strengthening CNY

Polysilicon prices in China edged higher this week amid Chinese Yuan appreciation. Polysilicon suppliers were increasingly confident that the market was solid balanced, helped by the productivity cutback as well as by stronger-than-expected capacity growth in mono-crystalline wafer suppliers. Hence, polysilicon prices in China were held steady in RMB, and translated into a slightly increment in dollar term given stronger RMB against greenback. Meanwhile, spot polysilicon prices in overseas was revised slightly upwards from the September, reflecting a supply disruption by Wacker's accident, and steady demand due to accommodative long-term contracts.


Polysilicon prices in China edged higher this week amid Chinese Yuan appreciation. Polysilicon suppliers were increasingly confident that the market was solid balanced, helped by the productivity cutback as well as by stronger-than-expected capacity growth in mono-crystalline wafer suppliers. Hence, polysilicon prices in China were held steady in RMB, and translated into a slightly increment in dollar term given stronger RMB against greenback. Meanwhile, spot polysilicon prices in overseas was revised slightly upwards from the September, reflecting a supply disruption by Wacker's accident, and steady demand due to accommodative long-term contracts. Some Korean suppliers attempted to rise price quotes in the spot market, but major buyers did not accept such offers as realization of long-term contracts would be sufficient to fulfill the demand. Hence, the average settling prices in overseas stayed mostly unchanged.

Multi wafer's rise this year had lost some momentum in recent days as demand concerns, notably price competition amid glut, have intensified. While both multi-crystalline wafer suppliers in China and overseas experienced waning buyer's appetites, price of multi-crystalline wafer in China held steady in USD term as stronger RMB helped to offset the losses in local currency. However, the drops in overseas were notable as overseas buyers suffered from lower utilization rates and dimmed order visibility. On the contrary, mono-crystalline wafer prices rebound slightly thanks to stronger RMB. The demand of mono-crystalline wafer were comparatively steady than multi-counterparts, as cell makers focus on ramping up mono PERC capacities. Furthermore, as some major mono-crystalline wafer suppliers seemed to encounter problems on shipments, a supply disruption also served as a buffer to price reduction, leaving the prices hold steady in RMB and increased slightly in USD this week.

Both multi- and mono-crystalline cell prices extend the drop this week, propelled by demand uncertainty as suppliers were suffering from declining orders, and high material costs. Deteriorating solar cell prices along with the prospect of OEM order cuts assured a demand downtrend, particularly in overseas. Cell makers based in Taiwan and South East Asia started to witness increasing inventory level and escalated pressures on pricing, leading cell prices to drop notably. Meanwhile, although cell prices in China were also heading to a downtrend, the scope was relatively limited amid lower price baseline and steadier domestic demand. Stronger RMB also helped to offset the drop in local currency, leaving prices in dollar term unchanged. The price reduction of mono-PERC strengthened more significantly as the competitions on higher efficiency intensified.

Solar panel price slide was offset by the weakened USD this week. A standoff over high upstream prices started to raise alarm bells among module makers when a protracted showdown over increasing cost and subsequent downtrend of panel prices led to a worsening margin. The price competition among Chinese players temporarily eased globally as upstream component prices elevated. In India, re-negotiation of projects have increased demand uncertainty, while the module price slide was limited by the high material costs. In other market, such as Europe and Japan, the price slide was eased by the appreciation of local currencies. Prices in US remained stable ahead of the final decision on Section 201 remedies.

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