SHANGHAI, Mar 9 (SMM) – SMM data shows that China's industrial silicon metal output was 281,000 mt in February, an increase of 7,000 mt or 2.64% month on month and 17.1% year on year.
Although the number of calendar days in February is 3 days less than in January, the domestic total output rose month-on-month in February.
The output growth was mainly contributed by silicon companies in Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia.
According to SMM data, by the end of 2022, 400,000 mt of new industrial silicon production capacity in Xinjiang was built, which was commissioned after CNY holidays. This, together with high operating rates at other silicon companies in the region, increased local output by 3,000-6,000 mt in February, driving the domestic output to rise.
Output in Yunnan, Sichuan, Hunan and other places in the south decreased slightly, as the producers lacked motivation to resume production amid low silicon prices.
In March, the supply of industrial silicon will remain strong in the north and weak in the south. The output in Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia is expected to continue to increase driven by new production capacity. Emerging silicon companies such as Hexi Silicon and Hongdian Ferroalloy in Gansu and Qinghai will also ratchet up their output to a certain extent.
In Sichuan, the operating rate remained low as the low-water period has bolstered costs. The silicon enterprises in Nujiang and Yunnan have been affected by substation maintenance, and the affected output is estimated at 3,000 mt. Some silicon enterprises in Dehong Prefecture have plans to shut down their furnaces for maintenance.
Synthesising the situation of each production area, domestic industrial silicon supply in March will increase to around 310,000-320,000 mt in view of more calendar days in March than in February.
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