PVinsights: Solar prices except modules rebound as demand recover

Polysilicon prices rebound mildly in this week. All major Chinese polysilicon makers have successfully digested excess inventories in September, as the demand in the downstream has seen an obvious recovery, so as to follow the price uptrend of the downstream to raise their prices accordingly. On the other hand, non-Chinese polysilicon makers are still adjusting their price quotes lower as to trim the price gap with the Chinese makers. Hence, although Chinese polysilicon makers have obviously pushed prices higher, the average polysilicon prices this week grow mildly as offset by the descending overseas polysilicon prices.

Polysilicon prices rebound mildly in this week. All major Chinese polysilicon makers have successfully digested excess inventories in September, as the demand in the downstream has seen an obvious recovery, so as to follow the price uptrend of the downstream to raise their prices accordingly. On the other hand, non-Chinese polysilicon makers are still adjusting their price quotes lower as to trim the price gap with the Chinese makers. Hence, although Chinese polysilicon makers have obviously pushed prices higher, the average polysilicon prices this week grow mildly as offset by the descending overseas polysilicon prices.


Both multi-crystalline and mono-crystalline wafer prices have seen obvious uptick this week. In September, the top tier multi-crystalline wafer makers had lowered the prices and productions obviously to clear out the floating stockpiles. Moreover, the demand in downstream solar cell also sees an obvious improvement after Chinese long holiday. Under the circumstances of limited supply and improved demand, multi-crystalline wafer makers have seized the timing to raise the price quotes successfully. On the other hand, the demand for mono-crystalline cells has seen a clear improvement that has also drove mono-crystalline wafer price up. In fact, many mono-crystalline wafer makers are experiencing temporarily supply shortage, due to their production curtailment in September. Since the demand has come in rush and sudden, many wafer buyers have not prepared enough stock on hand and suppliers have not ramped the production in a timely manner. Hence, mono-crystalline wafer have also seen apparent price rebound this week. With the accelerated clearance of stockpiles in September and the recovery of downstream demand, both multi-crystalline and mono-crystalline wafer prices have rebound obviously this week, but the price improvement in RMB term has been hindered in USD terms, due to the depreciation of RMB.

Amid the rising wafer prices and improved demand, both multi-crystalline and mono-crystalline cell prices have increased this week. Since the average selling prices of solar cells had dropped to an extent that almost none of solar cell makers could tolerate further price reduction, the rising cost of wafers and improve demand grant solar cell makers a great opportunity to raise the prices. The demand recovery also boosts the utilization rate in October for most solar cell makers from the low 50% to above 80%. Nevertheless, the price improvement for multi-crystalline cell is more limited than wafer prices, as solar cell buyers are still reluctant to accept drastic price correction of multi-crystalline cells, since the downstream solar panel prices remain pressured. On the other hand, mono-crystalline cell prices have increased more noticeably than multi-ones this week. The demand of mono-PERC cell has surged, due to the tenders for the Topper Runner projects in China, yet the supply of mono-PERC cells are more limited as some Chinese players still suffer with the quality issue of high-efficiency mono-PERC cells. Hence, Chinse module makers have increased the procurement of outsourcing mono-PERC cells, but the supply seems to be too limited to fulfill the demand at this time and this enables solar cell makers to raise the prices sharply. As the result, the average mono-crystalline cell price has improved obviously due to the tight supply of mono-PERC cells.

Solar panel prices have dropped more mildly in this week, as demand improves in China. The Chinese module makers have ceased aggressive pricing as the demand improvement in China helps the order visibility, so as the utilization rates. Nevertheless, as being affected by RMB depreciation recently, solar panel price in China is confronted with pressure in USD term. On the other hand, non-Chinese module makers are still adjusting their prices down to narrow the price gaps with the Chinese rivals. Moreover, with the strengthening USD, the regional solar panel prices are negatively impacted. Consequently, although the demand has seen to restored gradually amid record-breaking low prices, the price downtrend of overseas solar panel prices and the strong USD remain as the drags to the module prices.

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