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Business | December 29, 2011

Market outlook remains unclear for 2002

Upstream spot price rises, Market outlook remains unclear for 2002.
According to EnergyTrend, there is a division among current spot market price trends – solar cell and module prices have ceased falling and stabilized, while polysilicon and Si wafer prices are showing signs of an uptrend. As for the contract price trend in 2012, there has been talk of polysilicon and Si wafer price increases, but currently buyers and vendors are not seeing eye to eye on the matter.

Related manufacturers indicate the market trend for 2012 is unclear, which does not generally favor price increases. Therefore, EnergyTrend believes it is unlikely that contract price will see an increase in 2012.

This week’s polysilicon price increased significantly, with highest spot price approaching USD 28/kg and lowest price at USD 20/kg. EnergyTrend believes that the wide range is attributable to the gradual increase of high efficiency Si wafer demand, which has pulled polysilicon price up as well.

On the other hand, with clients demanding higher quality, some polysilicon makers are unable to provide clients with products that fulfill their requirements, and can only target the standard market by offering lower prices.

This week’s Si wafer price also saw a slight increase. According to EnergyTrend research, currently downstream solar cell clients are focusing on proprietary high efficiency products. Some top-tier makers are even focusing all product planning for 2012 on high efficiency products.

Furthermore, as some Si wafer manufacturers as unable to increase high efficiency product capacity and the yield rate, high efficiency products and standard products currently have a price gap of approximately US$0.2/piece. The high efficiency wafer demand increase is the cause of this week’s slight price increases.

As for contract price, vendors are slightly more straightforward. Currently, a major manufacturer located in Asia has quoted a price of approximately USD 30/kg for polysilicon price in 2012. In terms of Si wafers, related vendors indicate that the target average contract price for 2012 will be USD 1.2/piece.

This represents a price gap of 10% - 20% between standard and high efficiency products. As for buyers, related vendors indicate that the European market price has not improved, inventory has not yet been cleared, and cost has not been transferred to the client-end. Thus, the overall situation is not conducive to a price increase.

As for this week’s spot prices, polysilicon and Si wafer prices are showing an uptrend, with increases around 1%. Lowest polysilicon price remained at USD 20/kg, while polysilicon ASP increased by 1.77% to USD 24.21/kg. As for Si wafers, lowest multi-Si wafer price was US$0.8/piece – however, vendors indicate this price is for European products that only considered under special circumstances.

Lowest mono-Si wafer price remained at US$1.48/piece. This week’s multi-Si wafer ASP was USD 1.14/piece, an increase of 1.79%, mainly due to the price increase of high efficiency products. Mono-Si wafer ASP remained the same at USD 1.570/piece. Solar cell ASP remained at USD 0.505/Watt.

However, looking at it in detail, high efficiency products were USD 0.55-0.65/Watt, while standard product price was USD 0.49-D 0.53/Watt, a price gap of 13-22%. EnergyTrend believes, for Si wafer and solar cell makers currently in the red, successful mass production of high efficiency products will be the key to whether makers gain a competitive edge or not next year – manufacturers unable to produce high efficiency products will face a severe challenge in 2012.

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