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Shifting demand: N-type polysilicon holds firm as p-type prices dip

Polysilicon, cell, and module prices have seen a decline in the past week, according to the latest data released by China’s Silicon Industry Branch on Wednesday.

Polysilicon TypeTransaction Price Range (CNY/kg)Average Price (CNY/kg)Week-on-Week Change
N-type65 – 7068.1-0.15%
Mono Recharge61 – 6562.7-0.63%
Mono Dense59 – 6260.4-0.98%
Mono Popcorn56 – 6057.2-1.89%
Source: China’s Silicon Industry Branch; Chart: Solarbe Global

Solarbe analysts have pointed out that there has been a shift in industry demand from p-type to n-type, leading to a significant increase in n-type wafer production and a decrease in demand for p-type wafers.

As a result, the demand for n-type polysilicon remains relatively high, supporting prices and preventing a sharp decline.

In terms of cell prices, p-type solar cells have dropped below CNY 0.4/W (~USD 0.056/W), with some prices as low as CNY 0.35/W (~USD 0.049/W), in an attempt to enhance competitiveness through a higher n-p price difference.

However, n-type cell prices have also experienced a decline recently, maintaining a cost-performance advantage in the module sector.

On the module side, with more and more manufacturers ramping up their n-type module production capacity, the market supply has become more abundant, leading to intense competition.

New entrants may face pressure to bid at extremely low prices, even below their production costs, in procurement tenders.

Shifting demand: N-type polysilicon holds firm as p-type prices dip

An example of this is the recent bidding for the second centralized procurement of PV modules for CNNP Rich Energy’s 2023-2024 fiscal year. The tender announcement stated that the estimated capacity for this tender is 10 GW, including 3 GW of p-type bifacial modules with a power output of 545Wp or higher and 7 GW of n-type TOPCon modules with a power output of 570Wp or higher.

In total, 37 companies participated in the bidding process, with module factory prices ranging from CNY 0.862 to 1.0758/W, averaging CNY 0.9362/W (~USD 0.1307/W).

Notably, two top-tier brands and two emerging brands submitted bids lower than the overall average. It is worth noting that only one company quoted higher than CNY 1/W, and without considering this price, the overall average is only CNY 0.9323/W (~USD 0.1302/W).

This suggests that most manufacturers have accepted the reality of “module prices below CNY 1/W” and have adjusted their industrial layout and supply chain cooperation models to ensure profitability in an era of low prices.

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