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Solar market enters 2016 with wafer supply shortage

Posted: 22 Jan 2016     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IHS  solar  wafer supply  outsourcing  monocrystalline 

Currently multicrystalline spot wafer ASP is $0.88 per piece. Some suppliers are expecting to further increase their selling price to more than $0.90 per piece. IHS expects continued stability in multicrystalline wafer pricing throughout 2016. With the continued decline in polysilicon prices, average wafer gross margin will reach 20 per cent in 2016.

Monocrystalline wafers are expected to increase share of market in 2016, due to the increasing share of roof-top installations. In fact monocrystalline wafer production will increase to 26 per cent of total wafer production in 2016, from 24 per cent in 2015. Considering that monocrystalline wafer ASP has been declining for the last 12 months, the pricing gap between monocrystalline and multicrystalline wafers is becoming increasingly narrow. Monocrystalline wafer ASP will not fall lower than multicrystalline wafer ASP, and the pricing of monocrystalline wafers should stop declining faster than multicrystalline wafers this year. Overall, IHS forecasted a blended wafer ASP of $0.20/W in 2016, a decline of nearly one per cent over 2015.

Questions remain about the effect of this strong wafer pricing on module suppliers manufacturing cost and margins. It is not yet clear if manufacturers would opt to reduce their current margins in light of high material costs, or if they would try to pass along part of this cost increase to their customers, which could lead to increasing module prices in some markets.

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