PVinsights: Strong USD Damped Solar Prices

Polysilicon prices came off from three-week highs this week amid RMB depreciation against USD. As tight supply seemed to dwindle and buyers remained conservative of purchasing high-priced polysilicon, polysilicon prices in China hold steady in RMB term, but were translated into a moderate decline in dollar term with weakening RMB. Meanwhile, polysilicon prices in overseas stayed immobile from last week. Some polysilicon suppliers attempted to leverage the supply reduction caused by the factory explosion in Tennessee of Wacker Chemie to boost up the prices. However, such attempts were mostly failed as major buyers outside China continued to realize their long-term contracts with sufficient supply instead of purchasing expensive polysilicon in the spot market.

Polysilicon prices came off from three-week highs this week amid RMB depreciation against USD. As tight supply seemed to dwindle and buyers remained conservative of purchasing high-priced polysilicon, polysilicon prices in China hold steady in RMB term, but were translated into a moderate decline in dollar term with weakening RMB. Meanwhile, polysilicon prices in overseas stayed immobile from last week. Some polysilicon suppliers attempted to leverage the supply reduction caused by the factory explosion in Tennessee of Wacker Chemie to boost up the prices. However, such attempts were mostly failed as major buyers outside China continued to realize their long-term contracts with sufficient supply instead of purchasing expensive polysilicon in the spot market. With the waning demand, the overseas buyers also strengthened wait-and-see stance on the procurement.


Multi-crystalline wafer prices drop consecutively this week as mainly dragged down by weakening Yuan. The impact on the product mismatch resulted from the transition to diamond-wired technology has been diminished as the adoption of diamond-wired multi-crystalline wafers seen increasingly accepted by major buyers. In addition, amid signs of waning demand, elevated prices of multi-crystalline wafers were facing compounding pressures as buyers requested further price reduction. The supply and demand of mono-crystalline wafers were relatively balanced as many downstream capacity dedicated for mono PERC production has gradually ramped up in 2H17. Yet the prices continued to drop this week along with weakening RMB and the faster transition toward thinner mono wafers. Meanwhile, both multi- and mono-crystalline wafer prices in overseas also dropped limitedly as major suppliers still intended to keep the prices steady but 2nd and 3rd tiers suppliers were forced to offer more price discounts as to secure orders.

Lingering worries about the demand backsliding have sent multi-crystalline cell prices to consecutive decline, as curbed by buyers' ebbing appetite for outsourcing procurement. In China, multi-crystalline cell prices hold steady as suppliers intended to safeguard the prices, but the immobility in RMB were translated into a drop in dollar term with sharp depreciation of RMB against USD. In overseas markets, multi-crystalline cell prices extended the dip over the week as downstream buyers grew bearish on the outlook after module makers refrained from taking the upstream components' recent strength and were in the backdrop of brewing cost problems. Meanwhile, mono-crystalline cell prices have obviously waned. The demand for high-efficiency mono-PERC cell has obviously lost momentum since high costs punctured buyers' demand.

Dollar strength has been a key factor dragging global multi-crystalline module prices over the week. In China, though the price modification in regional currency was limited by the pricey upstream materials, the sharp depreciation of RMB against dollar sent the module prices down in USD term. Same scenarios were applied in EU and Japan as the drop in module prices were mainly attributed to USD strength. Module prices in emerging countries and the US were found unchanged as panel prices were pricing at dollar term.

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