PVinsights: Shrinking Demand for Mono PERC Products Forces Suppliers Spur Pricing War

Overall polysilicon prices drop slightly this week with minor correction in Chinese market. Although demand and supply remained quite balanced currently, the suppliers have sensed downstream price pressure and some reacted faster in lowering prices to retain clients. Furthermore, as to maintain the relationship with certain strategic mono-crystalline wafer makers in China, some Korean polysilicon suppliers proactively lowered prices despite solid demand in polysilicon sector. While in overseas market, polysilicon prices remained little changed from last week amid thinning trading.

Overall polysilicon prices drop slightly this week with minor correction in Chinese market. Although demand and supply remained quite balanced currently, the suppliers have sensed downstream price pressure and some reacted faster in lowering prices to retain clients. Furthermore, as to maintain the relationship with certain strategic mono-crystalline wafer makers in China, some Korean polysilicon suppliers proactively lowered prices despite solid demand in polysilicon sector. While in overseas market, polysilicon prices remained little changed from last week amid thinning trading. Since overseas polysilicon suppliers were reluctant to cut prices in accordance with buyers' request, most buyers tended to executing long-term supply contracts rather than purchasing extra quantity in the spot market.


Mono wafer prices were noticeably lower after a volatile trading this week, as the strong capacity ramping up and concerns about lackluster downstream demand fed worries over whether major wafer producers can alleviate the glut of global inventories. Moreover, since downstream demand for mono-crystalline product plunged, mono-crystalline wafer makers aimed to narrow the price gap with multi-ones in attempt to stimulate demand. Nonetheless, without clear visibilities in orders and demand outlook, most buyers remained cautious on procurement, sending mono-crystalline wafer lower further. Meanwhile, the drop of multi-crystalline wafer prices were less substantial in contrast to mono-ones due to sustainable demand. However, the increasing transition to diamond-wired sawing have also accelerated the price drop of overall multi-crystalline wafers due to its lower-cost nature.

Both multi- and mono-crystalline cell prices extend the drop this week, propelled by demand uncertainty as suppliers were suffering from declining orders. Particularly, mono PERC cell fell this week at the fastest pace since 2017 as buyers curbed purchases of expensive mono PERC cells in the face of shrinking margin and improved quality of in-house capacity. Since mono PERC cells are ones of the very few products that still have higher price premium for now, most cell makers intend not to lower production utilization rates but to increase flexibilities in lowering prices. Demand for mono PERC cell has slowed sharply following the end of top runner project since mono cell makers decided to drop prices sharply as they believe that their aggressive expansion of mono PERC cells will escalate price competition due to global glut and current high profit margin. On the other hand, multi-crystalline cell prices gradually declined along with the waning demand. However, as cell makers shift more production on diamond-wired multi-crystalline cells, the low-priced DW cells drew more buyers appetite, helping to sustain the prices without sharply falling. Furthermore, the steady appetite for relatively cheap DW multi cell has helped strengthen the market share of multi-crystalline products, forcing suppliers of mono PERC to offer steeper discounts to draw buyers. In sum, the price drop has been noticeably substantial for mono-crystalline cells than multi-ones.

Weakening demand and the upstream price correction continued to fuel multi-crystalline and mono-crystalline module price downtrend, as major suppliers saw declined order visibility recently. In EU, with the introduction of lowered MIP, increasing pricing pressure were witnessed as some Chinese players muscling into the market. In Japan, panel prices remained stubbornly weak as Chinese 2nd tier players strengthening their footprints. In US, module prices hold immobile since buyers intend to hold the procurement ahead of the decision of Section 201 made by President Trump. While in emerging countries, panel prices were also bearing with pressure as weighed down by escalating price competition in order to win the projects.

Featured Product

SolarRoofHook - Low Profile QuickBOLT

SolarRoofHook - Low Profile QuickBOLT

SolarRoofHook's Low Profile QuickBOLT with Microflashing™ is the industry's affordable, UL Certified Asphalt Shingle mounting system. The Microflashing™ is compressed by the collar on the bolt to create a water-tight seal. With an installation time of less than one minute, the Low Profile QuickBOLT allows installers to complete more jobs.