Wafer Price Decreases Due to Season Pre-Load and Weaker Demand, says TrendForce

March 28, 2014—Recent changes in spot market trends have led to substantial decline in PV products trading prices. Price quotes for polysilicon to modules dropped around 1%-3%, noted EnergyTrend, a research division of TrendForce. Whether demand fluctuations at the end of March implies weaker 2Q14 demands still remains to be seen.

Wafer prices fluctuated the most, with quotes decreasing significantly, according to EnergyTrend’s supply chain survey. Relevant data showed that the quotes of high-efficiency multi-si wafer declined from US$1.05-1.07/piece at the beginning of March to US$1.03-1.04/piece recently, a 1.87%-2.86% drop. For normal-grade products, the quotation also declined from US$1.0-1.02/piece to US$0.99-1.01/piece, a 1%-2.94% drop. Manufacturers stated that there are still some uncertainties in the market, and manufacturers face quote pressures.

“The decreased wafer price might be due to the pre-load at the end of 1Q14 and decreased demand,” said Arthur Hsu, Research Manager of EnergyTrend. “Based on EnergyTrend’s investigation, China’s demand has reflected a downtrend towards the end of March. With the exception of first-tier manufacturers, other manufacturers’ utilization rates have declined substantially. This is one of the main reasons as to why China’s spot price was the first to reflect upon it. In addition, declined demands in China caused wafer manufacturers to continue to increase shipments to Taiwan, which has put pressure on Taiwanese manufacturers and led to falling market prices.”

In terms of the spot market, easing Chinese market demands towards the end of March is adding stress on second-tier and under manufacturers. Therefore, these manufacturers have lowered quotations in exchange for more shipment opportunities. However, manufacturers indicated China’s EPC manufacturers have begun to place orders for April, and projected demands would increase next month, which in turn might drive up price quotes.

This Week’s Price Quotes

Impacted by decreased demands, this week’s polysilicon price dropped 0.17% to US$20.454/kg. For multi-si wafer, the price for Taiwanese and Chinese manufacturers has both declined, with this week’s price declining 0.57% to US$1.046/piece. For mono-si wafer, price came to US$1.205/piece, a 0.58% dip. First-tier cell manufacturers’ quotations remained stable, but downed for second-tier manufacturers. This week’s price dropped 0.76% to US$0.392/watt.

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