Polysilicon prices preserve downward trend, weighed down by supply factors

China polysilicon market
Image: OPIS

The Global Polysilicon Marker (GPM), the OPIS benchmark assessment for polysilicon manufactured outside China, declined for a fifth week running to $35.789 per kilogram (kg) on May 9, edging 0.12% lower on-week. The fundamentals of scant deals and limited availability continue to govern the market. A source who had concluded a recent transaction confirmed that it had no transactions into China at the moment with demand only coming from outside of China.

The situation of the hung global market clashes starkly with the domestic China polysilicon market. Average polysilicon prices there, assessed by OPIS as China Mono Grade, plummeted a steep 8.81% to CNY158.83 ($22.86)/kg this week. Sustained across eleven consecutive weeks, the drop highlights how China’s producers are under significant pressure, facing challenges of their own as they sit on surplus material that is tricky to clear.

A “price war” for polysilicon, according to one source, has already begun. Manufacturers are promoting second-grade polysilicon which is more difficult to sell, offering their product at lower prices because this part of their inventories has been accumulating since the third quarter of 2022.

Wafer output in May is expected to hit around 49-50 gigawatts (GW), according to one source. There is a widespread consensus in the market that wafer prices still have room to decrease because current wafer manufacturing output is sufficient and polysilicon prices upstream have continued to slip.

OPIS, a Dow Jones company, provides energy prices, news, data and analysis on gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, LPG/NGL, coal, metals, and chemicals as well as renewable fuels and environmental commodities. It acquired pricing data assets from Singapore Solar Exchange in 2022 and now publishes the OPIS APAC Solar Weekly Report.

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