PVinsights: China solar panels rebound offset by the correction in the US

Solar panel prices increase slightly with the partial increasing prices in lower-priced regions but the decreasing in the US. Upstream solar cells have surged more than 20% since October, but such increase in material costs did not reflect on the prices of solar panel that continue to squeeze the margins out of the makers. However, with the erosion of margins, solar panel suppliers in the lower-priced regions, such as China and India, eventually increase the prices successfully recently, but the increasing is still limited because the demand is not strong enough. Meanwhile, in the US, where solar panels are priced relatively higher, are being pressured, following the rising speculation of stagnate US demand and the uncertain atmosphere around the Presidential Election.


Solar panel prices increase slightly with the partial increasing prices in lower-priced regions but the decreasing in the US. Upstream solar cells have surged more than 20% since October, but such increase in material costs did not reflect on the prices of solar panel that continue to squeeze the margins out of the makers. However, with the erosion of margins, solar panel suppliers in the lower-priced regions, such as China and India, eventually increase the prices successfully recently, but the increasing is still limited because the demand is not strong enough. Meanwhile, in the US, where solar panels are priced relatively higher, are being pressured, following the rising speculation of stagnate US demand and the uncertain atmosphere around the Presidential Election. As the result, overall solar panel price improve slightly with the improvement in lower-priced regions, but offset by the decline in the US.

Both prices of multi-crystalline cell and mono-crystalline cell continue to rise this week with tempered momentum. As the supply of solar wafers remains tight, it also limits the production output of solar cells. The temporarily shortage of high-efficiency solar cells compounded with fully-booked orders throughout this month continue to provide the positive momentum for the prices of multi-crystalline and mono-crystalline cells. However, since the limited price improvement of downstream solar panels weakens the purchasing power of solar panel makers, the further price hike from solar cell suppliers become more difficult to be accepted. Meanwhile, mono-PERC cells continue to have further gain this week as prompted by the China Top Runner projects and finite supply volume. In addition, following the decline of the US module prices, the price of solar cells out of China or Taiwan remains stagnate this week amid the decreasing solar panel price in the US. As the result, the momentum of price hike for both multi-crystalline and mono-crystalline cells gradually slow down.

Both multi-crystalline and mono-crystalline wafer prices continue to improve noticeably this week. As the supply volumes still fail to meet the demand, the shortage situation continues to enable major multi-crystalline or mono-crystalline wafer suppliers to raise the price quotes. The top tier Chinese multi-crystalline wafer supplier has increased their prices up to RMB 5.2 per piece in China, and USD 0.68-0.70 per piece overseas. Following the price improvement, non-Chinese multi-crystalline wafer makers also increase their prices accordingly. Meanwhile, the 1st tier Chinese mono-crystalline wafer maker also releases their official quotes with mono-crystalline wafer to USD 0.80 per piece. Moreover, due to the shortage of mono-crystalline wafer, some suppliers continue to hike the prices to above USD 0.82 per piece. However more wafer buyers also become reluctant to accept further price hike as their margins are being erode. As the result, as top tier wafer makers continues to push up the prices, both multi-crystalline and mono-crystalline wafer prices continue to see noticeable gain this week, but the pace has become slower as buyer purchasing power declines.

The price uptrend of polysilicon persists this week. With the noticeable gain of downstream wafer prices, Chinese polysilicon makers continue to increase their price quotes this week. However, Chinese polysilicon makers concern about drastic ascension may deter growing demand so as to increase raise prices more tenderly. On the other hand, non-Chinese polysilicon makers continue to adjust prices noticeably this week, following the uptrend in China. Nevertheless, overall polysilicon dynamic has seen slower than the past few weeks amid the rising speculation of downstream reaching the ceiling prices.

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