The Chinese PV market saw PV module prices increase by up to 15% in the last few weeks, according to Dany Qian, the vice president of China-based solar module manufacturer JinkoSolar.
“The results of some key tenders which were announced recently, show a price increase of between 10 and 15% and an even higher increase is being considered for the upcoming ones,” she told pv magazine. “[The] China market has a crucial role as a solar PV price indicator as it brings to the forefront the raw material shortage.”
Qian cited a recent 30 MW tender linked to agricultural production and held by Chinese energy company Guangdong Energy Group Co Ltd. “According to the bidding analysis, the highest quotation of dual-glass modules is RMB1.79/watt ($0.27),” Qian explained. “Therefore the market still sees the trend of increased prices.”
According to her, this hike in prices depends on the shortage of supply of module frames and raw materials such as polysilicon, glass, and silver, as well as the lack of manufacturing capacity to meet current strong demand. Qian also cited a recent report from the China Silicon Association which revealed that the price range of monocrystalline is currently between RMB102,000 and 107,000 ($15,800-16,600) per ton, and the average transaction price is RMB103,400 RMB/ton, up 11.78% month-over-month.
“Since March, the monocrystalline wafer price of Longi has been comprehensively raised; [the] G1, M6 (170μm) monocrystalline silicon wafer quotation[s are] RMB3.55/piece ($0.55) [and] RMB3.65/piece, with an increase [of] up to 9%,” the vice president said. “Based on this, 175μm has increased by RMB0.05/piece ($0.01). The price rise is as high as 9.6%.” She also explained that raw materials such as iron and steel and aluminum have also seen a sharp price increase recently.
Qian also stated that, although glass and polysilicon producers are seeking to increase their capacity–as well as other raw material suppliers–setting up more factories and production lines will require time. “When combined with the U.S. dollar's continuous depreciation–following stimulus measures to ease public hardship during the pandemic–a further increase in PV panel prices can be expected in no time,” she added. “The rushing demand cannot stop prices from rising at least for [the] next six months or longer, until sufficient capacity ramps up.”
The current shortage, according to her, has left panel manufacturers unable to cope with the rising cost transferred from upstream that occurred since the second quarter of last year.