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PV prices continue to grow

Posted: 27 Jul 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:polysilicon? spot price? Si wafer?

EnergyTrend has conducted a price survey that says polysilicon spot prices are continuing to increase. According to the research firm, the current trading price has stayed between $52/kg and $54/kg.

Notably, the trading price in the Chinese market is slightly higher than other markets ranging from $55/kg to $58/kg. The main spot price of mono-Si wafer stays between $2.6/piece and $2.65/piece due to its high market demand. Also, the main spot price of multi-Si wafer stays between $1.95/piece and $2.1/piece.

According to EnergyTrend, PV manufacturers will take a wait-and-see attitude toward the market in 3Q11. Manufacturers are currently putting more focus on the order demand of 3Q11 to evaluate the market development. However, although most of PV spot prices went up, the extent has narrowed. This may mean that the end market demand is less than expected, and the price trend of 3Q11 could reverse.

PV spot price

Source: EnergyTrend

The survey showed that the average price of polysilicon has risen by 1.53% to $54.55/kg. While the average price of multi-Si wafer increased by 1.79% to $2.05/piece. The average price of mono-Si wafer, on the other hand, has stayed at $2.631/piece.

The solar cell market demand is spurred by increasing clients' need and the demand for high conversion efficiency product remains large; hence, the current high price has stably remained. However, manufacturers are having difficulties raising the price of lower conversion efficiency products due to lower demand. The average price of solar cell has slightly increased by 2.3% to $0.802/Watt, while the average price of module market has slightly declined by 1.39% to $1.275/Watt. Affected by the market price in India, the thin film market price has decreased slightly by 0.3% to $1.000/Watt.

Based on the current market trend, EnergyTrend believes that there is still oversupply. The price rebound first came in the polysilicon sector. Although Si wafer manufacturers sought to keep up with the price trend, the price recovery of Si wafer could not fix the price increase of polysilicon.

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Major Si wafer manufacturers are mixing substitute materials to reduce cost and are also trying to renegotiate terms with their suppliers. However, the efforts to gain support from suppliers appears to be futile. Because of this, EnergyTrend predicts that Si wafer manufacturers' profit in 3Q11 may be compromised.

According to EnergyTrend's survey, although major project bids of the U.S. focus on large scale utility plant establishments, smaller projects such as rooftop systems will also benefit from state governments and the federal government's subsidies. Since European governments have cut the subsidies for large solar energy power plants substantially, the rooftop system market will be the major market driver from now on, added EnergyTrend. The U.S. market may have the same market trend in the future. The conversion efficiency plays an important role in developing rooftop systems, and thus it is expected that the manufacturers, including those in Taiwan, with advanced technology will be in a better position to grasp new business opportunities.

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