PVinsights: Taiwanese solar cell price drops over 10% in June

Due to the US preliminary countervailing case ruling, Chinese module companies cut procurement of Taiwanese cells. However, Taiwanese cell companies still maintain fairly high production utilization.

Overall module price remains on the downtrend this week. Chinese module companies raise its prices in the US to reflect the increase in export cost due to the US preliminary countervailing ruling against Chinese modules. On the other hand, module in EU and Japan continues experiencing price cut pressure. Some Chinese module companies maintain competitive pricing strategy in Japan in order to gain market share, while some Taiwanese module companies cut prices in EU to make up the demand loss from the US as uncertainty of the US antidumping ruling on Taiwanese cell grows. In China, system deployment remains weak. Recently, the Chinese National Energy Administration reveals its intention in achieving 10GW installation in 2014, falling short from the 14GW target. As such, some Chinese module companies are becoming more pessimistic of downstream deployment demand. Therefore, Chinese module price drops further. Overall module price thus remain on the downtrend this week.

Overall solar cell price drops significantly this week due to pricing downtrend of Taiwanese cells. Chinese cell price has been weak under its slow domestic deployment. On the other hand, Taiwanese cell face increasing price cut pressure. Due to the US preliminary countervailing case ruling, Chinese module companies cut procurement of Taiwanese cells. However, Taiwanese cell companies still maintain fairly high production utilization. Since Taiwanese cells previously enjoyed 15-20% price premium over Chinese cells, Taiwanese cell companies are still able to bear the current price drop without cutting its utilization. As such, oversupply of Taiwanese cell adds further price cut pressure. The price gap between Taiwanese and Chinese cell thus narrows, leading to the overall cell price downtrend this week.
Multi wafer price also experience great price cut this week. In China, weak domestic demand has already exerted price cut pressure on its wafer. With unfavorable US preliminary countervailing ruling on Chinese modules, wafer demand in China drops even further. However, major wafer companies still maintain fairly high utilization creating oversupply that further pressures multi wafer pricing. Pricing of Taiwanese wafers also drops with price competition from Chinese wafers and under the pricing downtrend of Taiwanese cells. With the approaching US antidumping ruling on Taiwanese cells, Taiwanese cell companies also become more hesitant in placing wafer orders. Therefore, average multi wafer price drops more dramatically this week as Taiwanese and Chinese wafer price gap narrows. On the other hand, the US antidumping and countervailing case against Taiwanese cells and Chinese modules put Korean-made wafers into a more advantageous position. Since Korea has the largest wafer capacity outside China and Taiwan while Korean wafers are not included in the US investigation scope, Korean wafer companies are thus raising their prices. For mono wafers, their price moderately drops this week. The solar supply chain pricing downtrend pressures mono wafer price. However, mono solar component demand is rather stable compare to multi demand; therefore, mono pricing is more immune to dramatic price change.
Polysilicon price moderately drops this week. Despite dramatic pricing downtrend of wafers and cells, polysilicon price is only moderately impacted as wafer companies maintain fairly high utilization maintaining stable polysilicon consumption. Therefore, polysilicon price level remains fairly constant.

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