China Launches Anti-Dumping Investigation , Polysilicon Price Differs across Asia

China Commerce Ministry has made the announcement number 70 and 71 on filing for anti-dumping and countervailing investigation against polysilicon from Europe, while carrying out investigations against imports of polysilicon from the U.S. and Korea at the same time. Polysilicon selling price would very likely be affected by the investigations, as Chinese first-tier manufacturers are currently leading the world market with their large production capacity covering wafer to module, and have comparatively more demand for polysilicon.

EnergyTrend , the green energy research division of TrendForce, has interviewed several first-tier vendors and conducted research on measures taken by the Chinese government to protect themselves against international trade war. EnergyTrend’s findings show that most manufacturers believe Chinese Polysilicon ASP will rally back up in 2013 not only because of the final determination of anti-dumping charges, but also the high penalty duties that will be imposed to add additional costs. Furthermore, second and third tier vendors who could not survive the economic recession have shut down factories one after another; those who successfully get through the downturn would be the few well-positioned suppliers to raise polysilicon prices, which EnergyTrend expects to show growth uptick in China next year.

Considering that Taiwan is another major PV supplying market with the largest production capacity after China, worldwide polysilicon suppliers would minimize their costs and risks by putting more attention on Taiwanese downstream manufacturers, who therefore stands a better chance of bargaining for lower material prices. EnergyTrend believes that the industry would gradually adopt the inverted pyramid business model in which upstream suppliers experience heavier competition when capacity oversupply issue sustains profit pressure. Under the current weak demand conditions, polysilicon prices, Taiwan’s especially, will deviate from China’s quotation and adjust towards downstream vendors’ expectations.

In regards to the spot market performances, given the recent wave of time-sensitive orders from the Chinese regions, capacity utilization rates from various manufacturers experienced a noticeable surge, with capacities being used to the fullest extent in some cases. As businesses within the industry indicate, these continuous orders can be helpful to manufacturers in terms of digesting excessive inventory and putting a halt to the pricing downtrend. Due to the inventory clear out effect, polysilicon spot prices continued to dip this week, with ASP dropping to around $16.835/kg, a 2.04% decrease. With most polysilicon products in the spot market coming from the second-tiered manufacturers’ inventory, business vendors believe that future prices may begin to decline at a slower rate, and can even stabilize at one point. With regards to the multi-Si wafers, due to the unfavorable product pricing, numerous manufacturers have been forced to switch to the foundry business, and continue to provide to the spot market through their existing inventory. With the increase in the number of time-sensitive orders, though, there is hope that prices may begin to stabilize at a certain point. For this week, Multi-Si wafer ASP dropped by around 1.15%, arriving at $0.863/piece. For the mono-Si wafers, while the lack of a rebound in demand is causing prices to dip, the extent of the price falls have been shrinking due to the various manufacturers’ production halt efforts and inventory digestion. The mono-Si wafer ASP for this week arrived at $1.119/piece, a 0.44% decrease. For the PV cells and modules, despite the sluggish market transactions, with the help of surging time-sensitive orders and hope of inventory digestion, spot prices have been dropping at a slower rate. This week, PV cell prices fell to $0.36/Watt, a 0.28% decrease. Module prices stayed at $0.622/Watt, the same as last week. As for the solar inverter, due to the increasing pressures and unpromising outlook within the market, prices have gone on a downtrend; ASP arrived at $0.213/Watt, a 2.74% decrease.

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