Analysts expect stable prices along the PV value chain

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Energytrend and PV Info Link today updated their pricing data. Both firms agree prices will remain broadly stable until the Chinese new year – on February 5 – when eastern manufacturers could use the holiday to adjust capacities.

Polysilicon

The price of polysilicon in China fell slightly this week, mainly due to foreign manufacturers selling stocks at very low prices, said Energytrend. The analysts assume prices will fall slightly in future, due to the commissioning of new capacities, but there is currently little movement. In addition, many Chinese manufacturers have scheduled inspections of their production levels during the new year holidays, which could last until at least March.

PV Info Link expects polysilicon prices to fall slightly over the rest of January. Only the cost of polysilicon used for mono wafers is expected to remain stable – even after the Chinese new year.

Wafers

Energytrend sees a balance between supply and demand for wafers, which will keep prices stable. Multicrystalline wafers have seen increased demand from India and emerging markets but Chinese demand has declined since December. As a result, there are rumors multicrystalline wafer manufacturers will reduce capacity after the holidays.

For monocrystalline wafers, prices are also stable. On the international markets, Energytrend is pricing $0.38-0.39/unit for mono wafers and $0.258-$0.28 for multi wafers.

PV Info Link agreed the wafer price in China remained stable this week, with foreign demand dampened by Chinese orders, ensuring a shortage of wafers for manufacturers outside China. Full order books, especially for multi wafers, would mean the manufacturers recaptured price dominance. For mono wafers, the supply-demand ratio is balanced. Prices continue to be around $0.265-0.27/unit.

Solar cells

Energytrend reports rising prices in individual cell and panel segments due to higher demand, especially for highly efficient monocrystalline cells. Production output is fully utilized and there is a supply shortage. Supply continues to expand as some multicrystalline cell production has been retrofitted for monocrystalline cells. This will affect the future price trend, the analysts said.

Outside China, the price of multicrystalline cells rose. It has ranged from $0.109 to $0.137/W in recent days, averaging $0.112. The price of monocrystalline cells averaged $0.155/W, according to Energytrend data, ranging from $0.145 to $0.16. For highly efficient cells, higher prices were reported.

In the market for mono-PERC cells, PV Info Link noted a slight shortage, but there is a good balance for multicrystalline solar cells. Nevertheless, prices are likely to change again after the Chinese new year. Prices for monocrystalline cells outside China remain unchanged at $0.162-0.165/W, and for multicrystalline cells at $0.109-0.151. However, after the holidays in China, PV Info Link expects a decline in demand – coupled with new capacities starting up – will lead to falling prices for monocrystalline and multicrystalline solar cells. However yesterday’s dramatic policy announcement may alter that picture.

Solar panels

Demand for modules has slowed in China but increased abroad, Energytrend reports. The prices on the international markets for multicrystalline modules were between $0.207/W and $0.265/W, with the average rising slightly. For monocrystalline, high-efficiency modules, the price remained at $0.265-0.380, with the average rising slightly to $0.277.

For the manufacturers of monocrystalline PERC modules, especially vertically integrated Tier 1 manufacturers, PV Info Link recorded slight price increases for products in and outside China due to full order books. The price for 310 W PERC modules is stable at $0.28-0.30/W. For multicrystalline modules, too, the order situation for the leading suppliers improved and prices rose slightly.

Solar glass

PV Info Link also provided information on the price development of solar glass. Due to an anticipated decline in demand after the new year celebrations in China, and a generally unpredictable trend thereafter, the market is on hold. The price should remain stable at least for January.