L R AS Published on Saturday 11 September 2021 - n° 373 - Categories:silicon mono/multi, panels

The price of panels at the end of 2021-beginning of 2022 will depend on the production of silicon

The rise in panel prices should ease next year, provided that the silicon capacity expansions come on stream. However, it is not clear when prices will start to fall.

The price of panels has risen by 25% between last year and this year, due to the tripling/quadrupling of the price of silicon. InfoLink says silicon has risen from $8.7/kg to $22.2/kg. According to BloombergNEF, it has risen from $6/kg to $28/kg currently (a quadrupling)

According to BloombergNEF, the price of basic mono-PERC and monofacial panels, ex-factory in China, has risen from less than $0.19/W last summer to $0.24/W today. Because of the price of silicon. Wafer manufacturers have entered into purchase contracts to guarantee their supply, which has pushed prices up. This is in addition to glass shortages and the rising cost of silver paste. Since then, some major manufacturers have brought major capacity expansions online.

According to InfoLink, global silicon demand in 2020 was 140 GW for a supply of 133 GW. This imbalance is due to a delay in the commissioning of capacity by silicon producers. BloombergNEF is unable to find the exact cause of the imbalance. "There has been ample supply during the year, but bottlenecks have emerged."

When will prices fall?

InfoLink estimates that global demand for panels is 160 GW with a peak demand of 180 GW at the end of the year. For 2022, total supply will reach 349 GW for a demand of 181 GW, suggesting that prices should drop significantly next year

BNEF forecasts 183 GW of panel demand this year, with demand potentially reaching 204 GW. There will be enough silicon, with a supply of 207 GW.

Both organisations say that silicon commissioning will drive down the price of panels. InfoLink expects 245,000 tonnes of silicon to be commissioned between Q4 2021 and Q2 2022.

Prices will therefore fall. However, Tongwei has increased the price of its cells in recent days.

PV InfoLink said that silicon prices would rise in Q3 and Q4 due to strong European demand. It now sees the price remaining stable at $26.50/kg and then dropping by half to $13/kg in 2022. Daqo instead sees prices remaining high in 2022.

According to PV InfoLink, panels are expected to remain at a high level ($0.246/W) in Q4 2021 and will not fall back untilQ1 or Q2 2022


PV Tech of 9 September 2021

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