PVinsights: Upstream Components Rebound as FiT Deadline Boost China Demand

Amid strengthening Chinese domestic demand, overall polysilicon prices rise for the first time after experiencing a month of severe price reductions. In March, polysilicon prices in China had dropped more than 25% that caused many suppliers to suffer. However, as demand in China reviving in late-April, polysilicon suppliers soon react to increase the prices in order to compensate the loss in the previous month. While in overseas markets, polysilicon price stay still this week, as the demand recovery in overseas market is not as noticeable as in China. However, the downward trend is temporarily creased thanks to the aid of rising polysilicon prices in China. As the result, overall polysilicon prices rebound this week following the gain in polysilicon prices in China.


Amid strengthening Chinese domestic demand, overall polysilicon prices rise for the first time after experiencing a month of severe price reductions. In March, polysilicon prices in China had dropped more than 25% that caused many suppliers to suffer. However, as demand in China reviving in late-April, polysilicon suppliers soon react to increase the prices in order to compensate the loss in the previous month. While in overseas markets, polysilicon price stay still this week, as the demand recovery in overseas market is not as noticeable as in China. However, the downward trend is temporarily creased thanks to the aid of rising polysilicon prices in China. As the result, overall polysilicon prices rebound this week following the gain in polysilicon prices in China.

With the rising upstream polysilicon prices and demand recovery in China, multi-crystalline wafer prices have increased this week. The rebound of multi wafer prices has been driven by strong Chinese demand, fueled by installation boom before June 30th. In last month, many multi-crystalline wafer makers had lowered the prices and productions obviously to clear out the floating stockpiles. With normalized level of inventories, the demand in downstream solar cell also sees an obvious improvement after SNEC exhibition last week. Under such circumstances, multi-crystalline wafer makers, particularly in China, raise the price quotes successfully, but the scope is rather conservative as multi-crystalline wafer suppliers tend to be relatively cautious with the price quotes in consideration of remaining good relationships with the major buyers in prevention of possible demand cliff in a month. On the other hand, multi-crystalline wafer prices outside of China remain stable this week. Regardless of the demand improvement, the demand in overseas is still not strong enough to surpass the supplies, nor could the suppliers to prompt the price up with success. As the result, overall multi-crystalline wafer prices rebound as mainly attributed to the increase in multi-crystalline wafer in China. On the other hand, mono-crystalline wafer prices remain immobile this week. Although top tier mono-crystalline wafer suppliers reduced their price quotes, such move has yet to attract other followers so far. Since the supply of mono-crystalline wafer remains tight and demand is expected to remain robust, most of mono-crystalline wafer suppliers insist on holding their prices stable currently.

Both multi-crystalline and mono-crystalline cell prices eventually rebound this week thanks to demand restoration in China. Since the excess stockpiles of solar cells were well-digested in the past month, the increasing cost of multi-crystalline wafers and installation rush in China grant multi-crystalline cell makers a great opportunity to raise the prices. Although some solar cell suppliers in attempts to increase the prices at rapid paces, most solar cell suppliers are raising quotes cautiously amid concerns that the demand will soon dissipate after mid-May. As the result, the price improvement for multi-crystalline cell is still limited, as solar cell buyers are still reluctant to accept drastic price correction of multi-crystalline cells considering the downstream solar panel prices remain pressured. On the other hand, mono-crystalline cell prices also increase this week, but the scope is less noticeable than multi-ones due to stable mono-crystalline wafer prices. Nevertheless, with the solid demand driven by Chinese Top Runner projects and the effects of increasing multi-crystalline cell prices, mono-crystalline cell prices eventually reverse to gain this week.

Both multi-crystalline and mono-crystalline module prices remain depressed this week despite of the price rebound in upstream components. Solar panel prices in China stabilize this week as sustained by the installation rush before June 30th, the deadline of FiT rate change. However, with the end of installation raft in China approaching, Chinese module manufacturers have turned their attention to expand presence in overseas markets. In fact, the tariffs for overseas PV projects in the second half of the year have shown that the price trends in overseas markets still remain on the downtrend as module players leverage strategic pricing to win the auctions. In EU and the US, solar panel prices edge lower as Chinese module makers stir price turbulence in the regions. In Japan, while solar panel prices continue to plunge as the country entering the second quarter, the traditional off-season. In addition, although shrinking Japanese market has pushes out some the domestic players, more Chinese are aiming to expand their footprints as foraying on Japanese residential markets. In India, Chinese module makers are trying to strengthen their market shares in this rapid-growing PV market via aggressive pricing in domestic PV project auctions. Therefore, the drop of module prices has been offset partially as sustained by demand recovery in China, but the recovery in China along could not overturn the downward price trend with persistent pricing competition and global glut.

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