Cell prices slip, weighed down by sustained falling upstream prices

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From pv magazine Global

Cell prices slipped for a third consecutive week as a result of persistent upstream price reductions. On May 23, OPIS assessed the market’s mainstream options, Mono M10 cells at $0.1228 per W and Mono G12 cells at $0.1262/W. Prices of both cell sizes sustained an average 4% drop week on week.

Prices of Mono G1 and M6 cells remain unchanged on-week at $0.1529/W and $0.1316/W respectively; very few transactions around Mono G1 and M6 cells have been reported in the market. Multi cell prices, however, dropped 2.75% to $0.1095/W this week with a source from a major Multi cell manufacturer explaining that the price is expected to drop further due to the significant price cuts in upstream materials.

Although prices along the PV value chain are currently falling, a market participant disclosed that cell prices are expected to stabilize in the coming weeks due to the limited expansion in the production output of p-type cells. Despite this anticipation, cell manufacturers are still maintaining high operating rates on their lines since the market inventory in the cell segment is still at a manageable level.

According to a source at a leading Tier-1 cell manufacturer, they have switched a big part of their production lines from M10 cells to G12 cells due to the high demand for G12 cells which has also resulted in the wider price difference between Mono G12 and M10 cells. The current 20-80 ratio of market share between n-type TOPCon and p-type cells are expected to level off to 50-50 by the middle of 2024, the source expounded further.

Moving forward, cell price trends are expected to mirror upstream prices, but with smaller and gradual drops.

Meanwhile, market players downstream confirmed that module prices remain unchanged this week despite upstream price movements. Like his peers, a source at a leading Tier-1 manufacturer declared that they have no announcements of pricing until after SNEC, suggesting that deals struck between industry players during the trade show will “shift pricing”.

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.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own, and do not necessarily reflect those held by pv magazine.

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