PVinsights: The rebound of polysilicon extends despite the weakening downstream

Polysilicon price continues to advance this week despite the weak downstream performance. The demand in China booms due to the extensive expansion plans of downstream wafer makers. Meanwhile, the supply in China has been relatively limited due to the imposition of high tariff on the US polysilicon imports. Moreover, the Chinese government recently initiates the investigation on the smuggling polysilicon from entering the Chinese market, which lead the procurement of polysilicon to become more difficult.


Polysilicon price continues to advance this week despite the weak downstream performance. The demand in China booms due to the extensive expansion plans of downstream wafer makers. Meanwhile, the supply in China has been relatively limited due to the imposition of high tariff on the US polysilicon imports. Moreover, the Chinese government recently initiates the investigation on the smuggling polysilicon from entering the Chinese market, which lead the procurement of polysilicon to become more difficult. Hence, with the tight supply in China, buyers are in panic to secure the polysilicon, enabling Chinese polysilicon to increase their price quotes successfully. In addition, non-American polysilicon is also benefited from the rally in China, continuing the price hike with success. Outside China, major polysilicon suppliers, such as OCI, Wacker, Tokuyama, PTC, and Hanwha chemical, are also taking this chance to raise their price quotes successfully.

Multi-crystalline wafer price remains the gradual downtrend this week. Despite of sharply falling multi-crystalline cell price, the drop of multi-crystalline wafer has been rather limited as supported by the solid demand amid the high utilization rates of multi-crystalline cell makers. Nevertheless, the acceptance of wafer buyer begins to erode as the prices of downstream solar cells and modules are being pressured. Wafer buyers tend to be more conservative on releasing orders as a strategy to pressure multi-crystalline wafer makers to accommodate for further price reductions. On the other hand, the drop of mono-crystalline wafer price is relatively incremental as compared to multi-crystalline wafer, due to the solid demand improvement stimulated by Top Runner program in China.

Multi-crystalline cell makers continue to struggle with the shrinking demand in China and increasing stockpiles, leading the continuous price competition among multi-crystalline cell makers. Moreover, despite the downside risks, the current production of major multi-crystalline cell makers remains at full, which further pressures the price as oversupply situation worsens. However, the scope of decline starts to meet some resistance as compared to past few weeks since the ASP fall closes to the break-even points of solar cell makers after it drops for more than 10 percent since mid-February. As for mono-crystalline cell, the expanded price gap with multi-crystalline cell has leaded the solid demand of mono-crystalline cell to falter. In addition, the capacity of mono-crystalline has increased as some solar cell makers strategically shift productions from multi-crystalline cell to mono-crystalline ones as to compensate the loss from the sales of multi-crystalline cells. Hence, mono-crystalline cell price declines consecutively this week as pressured by the faltered demand and increasing production.

Solar panel price continues to fall tenderly this week as the demand in the US, EU and India restores and some 1st tier module manufacturers intend to temper slumping price. Nevertheless, the persistent weakness demand in China and Japan continues to pressure module makers to comply with price reduction in order to get rid of swollen stockpiles. As the result, the price downtrend of solar panel sustains this week, yet the decline has been more limited as some regional demand stabilizes, and some solar panel makers tries to re-balance the price deterioration.

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