Its been a tough couple of years for polysilicon manufacturers, since a global oversupply of the material forced the prices right down in 2014. Some hope has emerged, as demand skyrockets in China, however U.S. manufacturers are being forced to just sit back and watch, as the trade dispute between the two countries continues.
Market research firm IHS highlighted an upcoming change in Chinas feed-in-tariff (FIT) on 30 June 2016 for the increase in demand. It expects that the price of the material will rise from a dismal $12 per kilo in January to $19 per kilo in April. Strong demand for polysilicon prices is triggered by the FIT deadline in China, said Karl Melkonyan, solar supply-chain analyst for IHS Technology. Buyers cannot wait any longer to buy polysilicon for solar modules, if they want them produced and installed before the end of June.
Some observers consider $19 per kilo to be a target that is too ambitious, believing that the short term rise may soon hit its peak. "The peak of solar module demand in China ahead of the FiT decline has already been crossed; module, cell and wafer prices are consequently heading south," said Johannes Bernreuter, head of Bernreuter Research. "Within a few weeks, this price trend will also hit polysilicon."