SHANGHAI, Jan. 7 (SMM) -- According to latest SMM survey, operating rates at silicon producers climbed to some extend, and overall operating rates throughout Fujian province were above 60%. Domestic silicon producers were optimistic towards future market, although electric power costs remained at high levels in the RMB 0.52-0.54/kWh range. 16 silicon producers were surveyed with total 91.5 kt/yr capacity. Among the 16 silicon producers, 9 of them worked at full capacity and 5 of them still halted production (one producers turned to produce ferrosilicon), while the rest 2 producers worked with operating rates in the 17%-50% range.
Sales of silicon reported good performance in Fujian due to high quality of the products. Currently, ex-works prices were in the RMB 12,200-12,300/mt range for # 553 silicon metal, RMB 12,800/mt for # 441 silicon metal, RMB 13,600/mt for # 3303 silicon metal and above RMB 14,000/mt for # 2202 silicon metal. Person-in-charge at silicon producers told that operating rates would rely on market conditions, and producers would halt production at any time if prices of silicon metal declined.
Silicon market was still quiet recently, and some traders didn’t make offers, since demand was sluggish and they expected price increases. The latest traded prices at Shanghai of # 553 silicon metal were at RMB 12,000/mt, and trading volumes from downstream consumers were low.
SMM believes overall market will not be optimistic before the recovery of overseas market, and silicon market is expected to be sluggish in January.
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