PVinsights: Solar downtrend intact

Polysilicon prices are pressured by overseas light trading. Demand remains weak in overseas market due to the low utilization rates of oversea multi-crystalline wafer makers, pushing the buyers to propose lower polysilicon prices amid the glut. In China, the prices stabilize as the solid demand fails to boost the prices as buyers cannot afford more expensive polysilicon, hindered by the decreasing downstream product prices. For the suppliers, it is more important to secure the orders in August so as to keep the prices at the current level, despite the supply cut caused by their annual maintenance.


Polysilicon prices are pressured by overseas light trading. Demand remains weak in overseas market due to the low utilization rates of oversea multi-crystalline wafer makers, pushing the buyers to propose lower polysilicon prices amid the glut. In China, the prices stabilize as the solid demand fails to boost the prices as buyers cannot afford more expensive polysilicon, hindered by the decreasing downstream product prices. For the suppliers, it is more important to secure the orders in August so as to keep the prices at the current level, despite the supply cut caused by their annual maintenance.

Multi-crystalline wafer prices remain unchanged this week despite downstream weakness as the production mismatch between slurry-wired and diamond-wired saw remains. The unbalanced supplies of slurry-wired wafers has been gradually alleviated with accelerated adoptions of diamond-wired wafers by 1st tier buyers, yet the 2nd and 3rd tier buyers still prefer slurry-sawed ones. Besides, major suppliers are providing price incentives for buyers to lure such technology transition. However, the strengthening RMB against the USD dollars in near term helps to balance off the drop of the diamond-wired multi-wafers, resulting immobile multi-crystalline wafer prices this week. On the other hand, mono-crystalline wafer prices extend losses amid the price modifications made by the top tier mono-crystalline wafer supplier. Moreover, as the downstream demand has faltered, particularly for mono-PERC, an obvious tumble has resulted in mono-wafer prices.

Multi-crystalline cell prices drop for a second straight week. The signs of weakening demand in China have become more obvious as suppliers increasingly feel the pinch of declining downstream prices. As a result, the 2nd and 3rd Chinese suppliers lower the prices for securing orders. Furthermore, the actual demand in overseas markets is not as strong as suppliers have expected recently. Major Chinese solar panel makers tend to prioritize their in-house cell capacities in SEA to fulfill the demand from the US market, but remain conservative to outsource cell manufacturing in SEA due to the current unaffordable costs. As for mono-crystalline cell, the prices keep falling as demand in China facing a sharp correction. Some players are offering the same prices as mono-crystalline cell ones, which results in an attractive mono-crystalline cell selling. The pressure of mono-crystalline cell prices also comes from increasing supplies. As many solar cell suppliers have expanded their capacity on mono-crystalline productions, worsening overcapacity drives down the mono-crystalline cell prices further.

Multi-crystalline and mono-crystalline module prices expand its slide as the demand is waning in several major markets. In China, solar panels assure the price downtrend amid the decreasing demand, yet partially offset by the strengthening RMB. In Japan and EU, the weak demand drag module prices as well, but the decrease is also compensated by weaker USD. In India, the imposed GST continues to lead panel prices down further as Indian buyers hope to share the increased cost with suppliers, forcing them to cut the selling prices. In the emerging countries, solar panel prices continue to drop, regardless of the solid demand as the prices are capped by the intensifying competitions among 2nd and 3rd tier Chinese suppliers, avoiding excess inventories provoked by the weakening Chinese demand.

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