The decision by Chinese solar materials manufacturers to gamble on expanding production capacity even as Beijing’s 5/31 policy announcement stunned the solar world, appears to be paying off.
This week saw two of the world’s leading silicon wafer producers raise prices for the first time since September 2017, with a third expected to follow suit any day now.
Module manufacturers are so confident of a newly-resurgent global solar market they have already outlined second-quarter production plans and will even be at work during the Chinese new year celebrations, which start on Tuesday.
It adds up to a buoyant feeling in China with Zhonghuan Semiconductor on Tuesday raising the price of its monocrystalline silicon wafers 4.84%, from CNY3.1 ($0.46) to CNY3.25 per piece. Within hours, GCL followed suit for its multicrystalline products, which went up in value 4.88%, from CNY2.05 to CNY2.15 per piece.
With shares in both companies leaping as a result – Zhonghuan’s stock was up around 20% on the Shanghai exchange by close of play today and GCL gained more than 14% today alone – there is widespread speculation wafer manufacturing peer Longi will shortly raise its prices too.
The PR and marketing departments of Xi’an-based Longi refused to comment on the speculation when approached by pv magazine, however, and also refused to discuss the impact of the price changes made by their rivals.