SHANGHAI, May 9 (SMM) – According to a recent SMM survey, the average operating rate of domestic silicon metal producers in April was 29.39%, up slightly from March levels.
Low reservoir levels in Yunnan province and closures at some silicon metal producers caused overall operating rates to fall in April. Conversely, operating rates in Sichuan rose noticeably due to the onset of normal-water period and sliding electricity prices in some regions.
The SMM survey involved 120 silicon metal producers, with total capacity of 3.21 million mt/yr, which covers 80% of total domestic capacity. Domestic silicon metal output was about 78,600 mt, with metallurgical-grade silicon metal output of 28,800 mt, and chemical-grade silicon metal output of 49,800 mt.
According to the chart above, operating rates at some small silicon metal producers slid due to the sluggish market demand and continuously falling silicon price. But operating rates at some medium and large silicon metal producers rose slightly in April due to preferential policies by local governments, the execution of the small hydro power and cheap electricity prices.