SHANGHAI, Apr. 7 (SMM) – SMM survey shows that the average operating rate at China’s silicon metal producers was 28.67% in March. The rate, though only down slightly from February’s level, reflected production was negatively affected by falling silicon metal prices.
Electricity prices in south China were relatively high due to the low-water season, combined with soft consumption both at home and abroad which resulted in continuous falls in silicon metal prices in the past two months, most silicon metal producers in south China reported low operating rates during the past few months. Thus, output of metallurgical-grade silicon metal dropped noticeably. Most producers in north China, except those in Xinjiang, were still not able to start production due to high cost, but producers in Xinjiang which enjoyed lower power prices maintained normal production, guaranteeing stable output for chemical-grade silicon metal output. Thus, the output of chemical-grade silicon metal was well above that of metallurgical-grade silicon metal.
SMM conducted the survey in March to 120 silicon metal producers with capacities totaling 3.24 million mt, which accounts for over 80% of national total capacity. Domestic silicon metal output in March was about 77,300 mt, including 35,300 mt of metallurgical-grade silicon metal and 42,100 mt of chemical-grade silicon metal.