SMM5 March 13: April SMM survey metal silicon industry operating rate of 33.3%, an increase of 3.3% month-on-month, an increase of 0.1% year-on-year.
The recovery of the operating rate is mainly due to the increase in the opening of silicon plants in Yunnan and Sichuan, and part of the production capacity of Nujiang in Yunnan, Aba in Sichuan and Leshan recovered before the arrival of the flood season. However, due to tight ore supply and losses and other problems, Xinjiang, Chongqing also appeared a small part of the reduction in production capacity.
The operating rates of Yunnan and Sichuan provinces returned to 25.9% and 18.5% respectively in April, an increase of 11 percentage points and 8 percentage points respectively over the previous month. In May, the Nujiang River in Yunnan entered a flood season, and all parts of Sichuan entered a flat water period. The operating rate of the two provinces is expected to rise to 36%, around 21%. A large-scale resumption of production may have to wait until after the full arrival of the high water season in June under the constraints of drought, lack of electricity and difficulty in profitability.
Ore tensions in Xinjiang have not been resolved, with one large factory reducing its load to about 70 per cent in April to prolong the digestion time of silica stocks, while another has yet to find an alternative source of silica. The operating rate has not returned to normal, maintaining only less than 30% of the production capacity. In the rest of Xinjiang, small factories reduced their start-up load a little because of profit difficulties, and the operating rate in Xinjiang fell to 33.1% in April, 2.8 percentage points lower than the previous month.
The operating rate of silicon enterprises across the country is expected to rise back to about 36 per cent in May.
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