Taiwan-based market research firm EnergyTrend expects the tight global supply of multicrystalline wafers that has led to a spike in prices should begin to ease later in the first quarter as new capacity starts to come on stream.
EnergyTrend noted that weak pricing in recent years had significantly curtailed capital expenditure for additional capacity, despite growing global end-market demand for solar modules.
However, around 5GW of new capacity earmarked so far this year should ease constraints and reduce price increases after an expected wind down in demand after the Chinese New Year holidays as the global market stabilises now that demand issues in key markets such as China and US (ITC extension) have eased. Multi-Si wafer prices will peak in February, according to the market research firm.
In contrast, EnergyTrend said the monocrystalline wafer market remained in overcapacity, with demand in 2015 totalling around 9.5GW and capacity exceeding 15GW. Mono-Si wafer prices have stabilised at around US$0.89/pc recently, EnergyTrend added.