According to a report from PV Infolink, the price for mono-Csi solar cells in China fell below that of multicrystalline products last week. The agency reported mono prices at CNY1-1.02 ($0.145-0.148) per piece, and multi at CNY1.02-1-05.
PV Info Link notes the price level has already begun to affect orders this month, and it expects multi prices to fall for manufacturers to maintain order volumes. Outside China, the smaller number of mono-Csi producers ensured prices were more stable.
Analysts at investment banking firm Roth Capital Partners attribute the shrinking price gap to “an unsustainable, short term inventory dump”, and note other leading PV price trackers – including PV Insight and Energy Trend – have not reported mono-cSi prices below multi.
The PV Info Link report states manufacturers are ramping production of high efficiency monocrystalline cells, particularly those using PERC technology, in anticipation of the next round of China’s Top Runner Program.
“New capacities of PERC cells have been gradually released, leading to constantly weakening quotes,” says the report. “Adequate support for PERC cell orders will not arrive until China’s Top Runner Program kicks off.”
Roth also cites statistics from China’s PV Industry Association stating monocrystalline silicon accounted for 52.7% of wafer production in the first half of the yaer, and that during this period the volume of China’s polysilicon imports fell 4.3% while module exports rose 21%.
While module manufacturers are looking elsewhere for demand, China’s domestic polysilicon capacity is expected to grow to 450,000 MT by the end of the year. “The ultimate goal for China is independence from polysilicon imports,” Johannes Bernreuter, head of Bernreuter Research, told pv magazine earlier this year.