SHANGHAI, Jul. 8 (SMM) – A most recent SMM survey shows the average operating rate at domestic silicon metal producers in June was 49.52%, up 12.94% from the 36.58% in May.
June is a high-water period in Yunnan and Sichuan, and the Dehong Prefecture, Yunnan lowered electricity price by RMB 0.02/kwh once silicon prices fall by RMB 500/mt, so as to secure silicon production. As such, operating rates in Yunnan province rose by over 30%, and operating rates in Sichuan grew by 6 percentage points from the previous month. Operating rates in other regions remained stable as silicon plants in some regions are dispersed and small in number and since some regions mainly use thermal power.
SMM surveyed 120 silicon metal enterprises in June, with total capacity reaching 3.23 million mt/yr, which covers 80% of national total capacity. Domestic silicon metal output in June was 133,300 mt, with 78,400 mt of metallurgical-grade silicon metal and 55,000 mt of chemical-grade silicon metal.
Medium-to-large silicon metal producers did not reach full operation due to soft market demand, while small enterprises mostly reached full capacity, with operating rates higher than medium-to-large ones.