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Chinese module prices have reached historic lows, operating percentages are estimated at around 60%

Views: 203     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2023-11-22      Origin: Site

In a new weekly update for pv magazine , OPIS, a Dow Jones company, provides a quick look at key pricing trends in the global solar industry.


The Chinese Module Marker (CMM), which is the OPIS benchmark for mono PERC modules from China, and TOPCon module prices hit another all-time low this week, falling by $0.008 per watt peak (wp) and by $0.002 /wp, at $0.130 and $0.140/wp, respectively, according to OPIS data. Market weakness and low export demand continue to weigh on the module segment.

Module prices fell for the fourth consecutive week with the CMM recording its largest percentage decline of 5.8% in over two months. Most buyers and sellers have priced mono PERC modules in the range of $0.120-130/wp and TOPCon modules in the range of $0.130-140/wp. One module seller said that lower and lower prices continue to emerge. “Now, we all don't know how to predict module prices,” she said.

Module makers have reduced their production due to oversupply in the market, and one stakeholder estimated that overall segment operating rates are 50-60% lower than the previous 70-80%. One module vendor said his company's operating rate is currently around 60%. “At the current stage, maintaining the current operating rates is sufficient,” he said. Small factories “with inefficient production capacities” that fail to maintain rates will gradually exit the market.

China's export markets continue to look weak. Installation rates will slow as Europe celebrates the holiday season in December, an industry player said. According to several people, low-priced cargoes continue to be offered in Europe. People are frantically trying to “free up their inventory,” one module seller said. Persevering with these low prices means “winning,” said an employee of a tier-1 solar company. “If you can't move forward, you go bankrupt,” she said.

Weakness was also evident in other export markets. According to Brazilian consultancy Greener, module imports in Brazil, Latin America's largest solar market, could decline by at least 11.2% year-on-year, assuming total imports of up to 15.8 GW in 2023 “No one is doing well,” said a module manufacturer with customers in Brazil. According to multiple sources, prices below $0.130/wp for PERC technology in Southeast Asia are low but realistic.

Prices are expected to continue to fall. A module manufacturer is offering PERC modules at 0.99 yuan/wp this week, signaling that the market is on the verge of the psychologically significant barrier of 1 yuan/wp.

The entire solar value chain “will go through a phase of inventory liquidation before the end of the year,” one module maker said. The lowest prices across the value chain will come between December and Spring Festival next year. After the arrival of the 1 yuan/wp era, “one may wonder when we will see [prices] below $0.10/wp,” said a solar market veteran.

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. In 2022 it acquired pricing data from the Singapore Solar Exchange and now publishes the OPIS APAC Solar Weekly Report .




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