The continuing recovery in silicon prices is having an impact on the production cost of panels.
Published on Saturday 2 September 2023 | Article n°455
Although each Tier 1 manufacturer has yet to announce its price offer, the new price range is between 83 and 89 RMB/kg. Prices are increasing by
Old orders sometimes have price revision clauses. With silicon production in July and August below expectations, progress on commissioning and manufacturing new capacity is falling short of expectations. Supply remains tight in the silicon sector.
The price of N-type silicon is between 89 and 96 RMB/kg.
Despite higher silicon prices, wafer manufacturers' profit margins are recovering following price increases caused by the mismatch between N-type and P-type formats.
Prices stabilised this week. They stand at 3.33-3.35 RMB/piece for P-type M10 wafers, and 4.35 RMB/piece for G12 wafers. N-type M10 and G12 inserts with a thickness of 130 μm are priced at RMB 3.47/piece and RMB 4.47/piece respectively. G12 wafers in N-type and P-type format maintain a superior price/performance advantage.
If planned cell production remains high and capacity commissioning progress for N-type cells accelerates, wafer supply, led by N-type wafers, will remain weak, which could lead to further price increases.
The profit margin, which had widened considerably in recent months, has started to narrow as a result of the resumption of upstream price rises and low acceptance in the panel sector.
Cell prices remained stable towards the end of the month, at 0.75 RMB/W for M10 cells and 0.73 RMB/W for G12 cells. Prices for M10 TOPCon cells ranged from 0.79 to 0.81 RMB/W. Prices for N cells are between 0.05 and 0.06 RMB/W higher than for P cells. G12 HJT cells, with few suppliers, are priced at 0.85 RMB/W.
Demand for cells depends on the production plans of panel manufacturers. With cell prices relatively high, Tier 2 and Tier 3 panel manufacturers have reduced their purchasing volumes, leaving Tier 1 panel manufacturers to determine the trend in cell prices.
Panel prices remain stable this week, with average prices stagnating between 1.21 and 1.25 RMB/W. For ground-mounted projects, panel prices are generally between 1.23 and 1.25 RMB/W, but some manufacturers have started to deliver at prices below 1.2 RMB/W.
Prices for distributed production projects are stabilising at between 1.2 and 1.23 RMB/W, with the low price range persisting at between 1.15 and 1.18 RMB/W and the high price range at 1.28 RMB/W.
Panel manufacturers are coming under more pressure as commodity prices rise. Customer acceptance is limited as Tier 1 panel manufacturers accept lower forward prices, many below 1.2 RMB/W, to compete for orders. In September, prices are likely to stabilise and any increase will be marginal.
TOPCon panels are supplied at between RMB1.25 and RMB1.38/W and between $0.17 and $0.22/W, with the premium over PERC panels remaining at $0.01/W abroad. For HJT panels, prices remain between 1.5 and 1.6 RMB/W in China, but prices for spot inventory stand at 1.45 RMB/W. On markets outside China, prices for HJT panels are between $0.195 and $0.2/W.
Chinese exporters are delivering products at $0.16-0.18/W (FOB) this week. In Europe, spot prices are falling to between €0.15 and €0.165/W, with panels with black backsheets commanding a premium of between €0.02 and €0.025/W.
InfoLink of 30 August 2023
The price of silicon was on the rise on 23 August, according to the CNMIA silicon industry. Type N material was RMB 84 to 93 ($11.5 to $12.8/kg), with an average of RMB 89.1/kg, up 5% week-on-week.
PV Tech of 25 August 2023