SHANGHAI, Jan. 14 (SMM) -- This week, domestic silicon prices at ports continued to decline slightly, and cargo-holders continued to move goods. Currently, offers of # 553 silicon metal were as low as RMB 11,700-11,800/mt. However, downstream consumers still adopted a wait-and-see attitude and made purchase in a small amount, so trading volumes were low.
This week, offers in Yunnan were flat with levels of last week, with prices of # 3303 silicon metal in the RMB 13,000-13,200/mt range and # 2202 silicon metal in the RMB 14,000-14,200/mt range. Operating rates were still negative affected by insufficient supply of electric power and relatively high electric power costs.
According to latest SMM survey, operating rates in Yunnan have already fallen to 25%, and electric power costs were in the RMB 0.49-0.59/kWh range. Among the 17 surveyed silicon metal producers, total capacity 230 kt, two of them worked at full capacities and 11 of them halted production (1producer halted production in January 2010 and 4 producers halted production in December 2009) while the rest 4 producers maintained operating rates in the 33%-67% range. Most producers that halted production told that they didn't have specific time to resume production, and production resumption might be postponed to high-water period if the market were still sluggish.
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