SHANGHAI, Apr 25 (SMM) - Silicon metal prices declined last week. Prices of oxygen-free #553 silicon in east China fell 50 yuan/mt on a weekly basis to 19,100-19200 yuan/mt, while those of #553 silicon with oxygen dropped 300 yuan/mt to 19,900-20,100 yuan/mt, and those of #3303 lost 100 yuan/mt to 22,000-22,100 yuan/mt. Prices of #421 silicon for use in silicone were basically flat at around 22,500 yuan/mt. The contradiction between the supply and demand of silicon metal caused by the domestic pandemic still persists. The weak downstream consumption of silicon metal triggered bearish market sentiment. Downstream producers restocked based on rigid demand and bargained down prices. However, limited supply and cost support limited the decline in silicon prices.
In downstream sectors, many aluminum alloy plants cut or halted production due to transportation disruption, poor orders and profits caused by the pandemic. Some silicone plants lowered operating rates due to the pandemic. Most polysilicon plants ran at full capacity, except for small-scale maintenance at some plants.
Silicon metal suppliers are more willing to sell as the May Day holiday is drawing near, but downstream producers are not keen to stock up due to pessimistic sentiment and adequate inventory. Therefore, silicon metal prices may be largely stable this week.