SMM4, March 13: March SMM survey metal silicon industry operating rate of 27.0%, a month-on-month decrease of 0.5 percentage points, a year-on-year decrease of 6.3 percentage points, brushing the latest 4-year low.
The reason for the continued decline in the month-on-month operating rate in March was the decline in capacity load in Xinjiang, Sichuan, Shaanxi and other regions. The capacity of Xinjiang Dachang, which cut production in February because of a shortage of raw materials, has not been restored, while some medium-sized silicon plants began small-scale production cuts and repairs in mid-and late March because of falling silicon prices.
The Yunnan Nujiang Silicon Plant resumed construction in mid-March, half a month later than in previous years, and the operating rate in Yunnan increased by 1.6 percentage points to 14.7 percent in March compared with the previous month. The output of Fujian, Hunan, Guangxi, Qinghai and Chongqing also increased in March, but it did not contribute much to the improvement of the overall operating rate because of the small proportion of production capacity.
Sichuan will adjust the electricity price to the flat water period at the end of April. Some silicon factories in Sichuan have completed the inspection and repair work before the furnace is opened, and some have already stored raw materials, but the continuous decline in silicon prices has dampened the enthusiasm of the silicon plant to resume production. It is expected that the increase in the start-up rate in Sichuan in April is not obvious. The resumed production capacity of the Nujiang River in Yunnan reached full capacity in April, making a major contribution to the increase in the national operating rate in April, and SMM expects silicon enterprises to reopen to around 30 percent in April.
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