Weak Chinese polysilicon imports worsened by Wacker shortfall

Monthly polysilicon imports into China from November 2016 through October 2017
October is a weak month for polysilicon imports into China; moreover, Wacker’s volume plunged by 61% – Chart: Bernreuter Research

Polysilicon imports into China dropped considerably from the record high of 17,628 metric tons (MT) in September to 11,153 MT in October.

Bernreuter Research sees two reasons for the 36.7% decrease month over month:

1) October is traditionally a weak month for polysilicon imports, due to the Golden Week holidays in China around the National Day on October 1.

2) The temporary closure of Wacker’s U.S. polysilicon plant after a hydrogen explosion in early September has indirectly become visible in the Chinese import statistics now. Imports from Germany, which are equivalent to the volumes from Wacker, saw the most dramatic monthly reduction, down by 61.1% from 5,655 MT in September to 2,194 MT in October.

Although Wacker did not ship polysilicon from the U.S. into China to avoid high import duties, its German duty-exempt production facilities are now not able to export their entire output to China as they also have to supply volumes to customers outside China, which were previously served by Wacker’s U.S. plant.

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