SHANGHAI, Jun. 10 (SMM) – Average operating rate at Chinese silicon metal producers was 33.60% in May, up merely 1 percentage point from April, but down 2.98 percentage points from a year ago, Shanghai Metals Market survey found.
The minimal increase in the rate was due mainly to power supply shortages in major producing regions, according to SMM survey
of 120 domestic silicon metal producers in May, covering 3.41 million tonnes of capacity, or 85% of national total.
The SMM survey revealed that the rainy season came later than usual this year in Yunnan and Sichuan, severely affecting silicon metal production, especially at small producers. Medium and large producers, particularly those equipped with their own power plants, were little affected due to stable order books and high risk tolerance, according to SMM survey.
The power shortages in Sichuan, Fujian and Yunnan also caused silicon metal makers already in operation to lower operating rates or start maintenance ahead of schedule.
About 95,400 tonnes of silicon metal was produced in China during May, including 47,600 tonnes of metallurgical-grade silicon metal, and 47,800 tonnes of chemical grade silicon metal.