PVinsights: Solar panel prices stabilize amid the rising upstream prices

After a long streak of losses, solar panel prices eventually stabilize this week. Major module manufacturers have been squeezed by the rapidly increasing prices of cells and wafers so as to leave the solar panel prices unchanged, although they are actually planning to adjust their prices upwards, particularly in the regions where solar panel prices were mostly suppressed, such as China and India. Although the demand improves globally, it is still fragile. As a result of a mild demand recovery, major module makers hesitate to raise the prices immediately, leading the solar panel prices to stabilize this week.

After a long streak of losses, solar panel prices eventually stabilize this week. Major module manufacturers have been squeezed by the rapidly increasing prices of cells and wafers so as to leave the solar panel prices unchanged, although they are actually planning to adjust their prices upwards, particularly in the regions where solar panel prices were mostly suppressed, such as China and India. Although the demand improves globally, it is still fragile. As a result of a mild demand recovery, major module makers hesitate to raise the prices immediately, leading the solar panel prices to stabilize this week.


Following the rising wafer prices and demand recovery, multi-crystalline and mono-crystalline cell prices see the obvious improvement this week. Since solar cell makers suffered from the safeguard of solar cell cash costs in September, the sharply rising wafer prices become one of the main drivers to the current strong cell price rebound. Moreover, the consecutive historical low prices have also helped to intensify the procurement interests. Although the utilization rates of multi-crystalline cells recover gradually without fully production, the temporarily tight supply of high efficiency multi-crystalline cells continues to drive up the average multi-crystalline cell prices dramatically. On the other hand, mono-crystalline cell prices increase noticeably as well. Due to the Topper Runner projects in China, the demand in high efficiency mono-PERC cells has surged. However, the supply of mono-PERC cells is more limited as some Chinese players are still suffering from the quality issue on high-efficiency mono-PERC cells. Therefore, Chinese module makers have increased the procurement of the outsourcing mono-PERC cells, but the supply still seems to be too limited to fulfill the demand at this time. Such shortage situation reflects a strong pull-up in mono-PERC prices and helps to drive up the average price of mono-crystalline cell further.

Both multi and mono-crystalline wafer continue the strong rebound in this week due to temporarily imbalance of demand and supply. As multi-crystalline wafer makers have accelerated reduction in production to adjust to earlier price decline in September, the glut of multi-crystalline wafers seems to successfully eliminate before the Golden week holiday. However, while major multi-crystalline wafer makers has yet to fully recover their production, the current demand recovery since the beginning of October has caused a tight supply situation in the short term. The similar situation also applies to mono-crystalline wafers. In fact, the surge demand in mono-PERC cell fuels on the wafer price rising, although standard mono-crystalline cell demand is not strong enough. The supply of mono-crystalline wafer is more constrained, since some major mono-crystalline wafer supplier stop their shipping in October. In addition, the price improvement in overseas is also noticeably stronger than that in China, since the supply reduction from China is considerably less than that in overseas regions in the past weeks. As the result, the temporarily supply shortage on multi and mono-crystalline wafers continue to improve price quotes dramatically this week.

Polysilicon prices continue to rise more obviously this week. After the successfully digesting excess inventories in September, the wafer production recovery has shown the demand improvement on polysilicon. Moreover, major Chinese polysilicon manufacturers now have less stress to sell their polysilicon amid the current price uptrend. The polysilicon prices in China have increased to around RMB110-120/Kg, as the demand in China surge the most clearly. Meanwhile, polysilicon prices in overseas also show an uptrend this week, since non-Chinese polysilicon makers follow the price improvement in China to raise their offering. Furthermore, with the recent announcement on production curtailment by REC, the further limited supply is another factor that may contribute to the gain of polysilicon prices. As the result, overall polysilicon price continues to rise this week, as mainly driven by the price uptick in China.

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