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© stevanovicigor / dreamstime.com Business | March 15, 2012

Market purchase momentum weak, price falls significantly

As the uncertainty concerning various market factors deepens, the PV market is in wait-and-see mode and buyers have noticeably taken a step back.
According to EnergyTrend, a research division of TrendForce, affected by a pessimistic European market outlook and anticipation of the upcoming decision regarding the investigations between the U.S. and China solar industries, mid and downstream solar cell and module makers have adjusted their stock levels in a simultaneous but unplanned move.

According to EnergyTrend, major solar cell manufacturers began decreasing their intake of polysilicon and silicon wafer inventory last week. This week, some makers have temporarily stopped stocking silicon wafers altogether. Related vendors indicate, inventory stocking momentum from downstream clients has gradually weakened since the German government announced solar subsidy cuts.

Although shipments were normal for the first half of the month, clients are already asking for price adjustments, and high-efficiency product price has also begun falling. EnergyTrend surveys indicate, currently buyers’ contract price expectations are far lower than what vendors are able to provide. Furthermore, buyers have not noticeably reduced contract price for shipments that have already been delivered, causing a tug of war situation between both sides regarding concluded transaction price.

As for polysilicon, due to weak demand and aggressive inventory stocking earlier this year, market price continues to be at a low. According to EnergyTrend research, currently lowest price has fallen below US$25/kg. Related vendors believe that if 2Q demand continues to weaken, polysilicon spot price may have a chance to return to 4Q11 levels.

According to EnergyTrend research, currently makers have already begun price negotiations for 2HMar. or April, with estimated adjustments of approximately 10%.

As for this week’s spot prices, affected by traders and a portion of makers aggressively clearing excess materials, polysilicon price remains on a downtrend, with lowest price arriving at US$24.5/kg, and average price at US$26.86/kg, a 5.36% decrease.

Silicon wafer price decreased significantly, with average multi-Si wafer price falling by 4.75% to US$1.164/piece and average mono-Si wafer price at US$1.597/piece, a 1.24% decline. As for solar cells and modules, a portion of makers are aggressively making offers which has caused price adjustments – average solar cell price decreased 4.74% to US$0.502/Watt.

Mono-wafer and high-efficiency product price fell noticeably as well, which will affect the solar cell trend in the future. In terms of modules, as there has been news of the Chinese government consolidating the industry in addition to weak demand and price slashing, this week’s average module price fell 2.98% to US$0.847/Watt. Impacted by the decrease in module prices, thin film product price also showed a downtrend, with a 3.79%

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