Do Chinese associations overstate domestic polysilicon output?

Polysilicon production volumes of the Chinese top 4 manufacturers (Tongwei, GCL-Poly, Daqo, Xinte) in 2019
2019 production data of industry body CNMIA for GCL and Xinte differ vastly from the companies’ results – Chart: Bernreuter Research

The 2019 results of the four largest China-based polysilicon manufacturers – Tongwei, GCL-Poly, Daqo and Xinte – have partly revealed enormous discrepancies with the numbers published by Chinese industry bodies.

According to the China Photovoltaic Industry Association (CPIA), domestic polysilicon production amounted to 342,000 metric tons (MT) in 2019; the monthly figures from the Silicon Branch of the China Non-ferrous Metals Industry Association (CNMIA) add up to almost 344,000 MT. However, CNMIA’s numbers for GCL-Poly and Xinte deviate substantially from the production volumes revealed by the public companies themselves in their annual results announcements.

While GCL-Poly has published a 2019 output of 57,394 MT, CNMIA arrives at nearly 77,500 MT. For Xinte Energy, CNMIA’s number overshoots the company’s result by almost 15,000 MT (see columns with red frames in the chart above). In total, CNMIA’s deviation for all four top companies amounts to more than 35,500 MT.

Bernreuter Research does not see a reason why GCL and Xinte would downplay their production volumes. Therefore, China’s actual polysilicon output in 2019 was likely between 306,000 and 308,000 MT, which also fits better to the global supply-demand balance.

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