PVinsights: Multi-crystalline cell price slumps to record low

Multi-crystalline cell price falls consecutively this week, closing at historical low this week. As the demand freezes in China after the installation rush comes to the end, multi-crystalline solar cell makers have seen sharp order declines from Chinese PV module makers. For most of multi-crystalline cell markers who heavily rely on Chinese orders, they have to offer more competitive price in order to get rid of the excess stockpiles and compete to secure the orders. Moreover, the oversupply situation should worsen as most multi-crystalline cell makers still maintain at full productions and have no intention on curtailing production.


Multi-crystalline cell price falls consecutively this week, closing at historical low this week. As the demand freezes in China after the installation rush comes to the end, multi-crystalline solar cell makers have seen sharp order declines from Chinese PV module makers. For most of multi-crystalline cell markers who heavily rely on Chinese orders, they have to offer more competitive price in order to get rid of the excess stockpiles and compete to secure the orders. Moreover, the oversupply situation should worsen as most multi-crystalline cell makers still maintain at full productions and have no intention on curtailing production. Multi-crystalline cell buyers also intend to wait awhile longer to settle the deals for July amid the speculation of further price drop. Consequently, with swelled supply, the ambiguous order visibility, and the slashed procurement of multi-crystalline cell, worsening oversupply situation leads multi-crystalline price to tumble more dramatically this week. The plunge of multi-crystalline cell also spurs the price of mono-crystalline cell to fall more sharply this week. In response to the slower downstream demand and the expanded gap with multi-cell, mono-crystalline cell makers have to comply with further price reduction in order to sustain its market share.

The drop of multi-crystalline wafer also accelerates along the price slump of multi-crystalline cell. With slumped downstream prices, weakening demand, and flooded-in supply from 2nd and 3rd tier suppliers, the growing imbalances in supply-and-demand have hampered the bargaining power of multi-crystalline wafer suppliers. Moreover, the wait-and-see attitude from multi-crystalline wafer buyers also strengthens with speculation of further price reduction. As the result, multi-crystalline wafer drops extensively this week as the oversupply situation worsens. Such decline in multi-crystalline wafer price also stirs the chain reaction of mono-crystalline wafer price. However, the drop of mono-crystalline wafer is rather limited thanks to the relatively solid demand. In China, the mono-crystalline wafer drops more obviously as the downstream demand turns slower and the RMB weakens. Moreover, the leading mono-crystalline Chinese wafer supplier also intends to conduct strategic pricing in order to curtail the price gap between mono- and multi-crystalline wafers. Outside of China, the prices of mono-crystalline wafer drop limitedly as demand remain fairly solid, but the pressure remains as the downstream price slashes.

Polysilicon price extend the losses as concerns on demand and the prices of downstream solar components mount. Polysilicon prices fall closes to below $18/Kg and below $15/Kg in China and outside China, respectively. The purchasing power of polysilicon buyers has been hampered as the wafer prices see enlarged correction and the domestic demand is also noticeably slower. Hence, polysilicon suppliers will probably offer more price discount in response to the downstream price slump and to secure the orders. Moreover, as major polysilicon suppliers Wacker and REC ramp up more polysilicon capacities, the increased supply will likely hurt the price of polysilicon as well. Hence, the overall polysilicon price plummets this week due to the weak downstream demand and the increased supply by major polysilicon manufacturers.

Solar panel price continue to drop this week. In China, the price pressure continues to extend with persistent price competition and weakening RMB. While in the U.S., solar panel price is pressured due to the strategic pricing of Chinese module makers on speculations to increase the market shares via its trade-friendly capacity. In India, solar panel price is also under pressure since many solar panel makers are leveraging price competition in order to win the projects in the second half of the year. In Europe, the solar panel price has seen enlarged correction in Intersolar event. Moreover, the slumping Euro triggered by Brexit in the recent also further pressurizing the solar panel price in USD term. In Japan, despite the sluggish demand, solar panel price in USD term stabilizes by the strong appreciation of Yen. As the result, solar panel prices extend the drop this week as affected by the persistent price competition and the strengthen greenback

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