Why the polysilicon spot price is still rising

polysilicon chunks
While some polysilicon manufacturers are not producing at full steam, strong demand is driving up the spot price – Image: Activ Solar

Several factors are playing a role in driving up the current polysilicon spot price.

 Factors on the supply side:

  • Some Chinese producers are still carrying out annual maintenance.
  • According to PVinsights, a power blackout occurred at a polysilicon supplier in Xinjiang in the first week of December. It could have been Daqo as other sources said that the output at Daqo was unstable and Xinte Energy, the second producer in Xinjiang, has returned to normal production.

Factors on the demand side:

  • Longi and Zhonghuan Semiconductor are building up large polysilicon inventories for the expansion of their monocrystalline wafer capacities. Total Chinese mono wafer capacity is expected to increase to a staggering 65 GW by the end of 2018.
  • Polysilicon demand for multicrystalline solar modules has also accelerated, indicating strong activity in the distributed generation segment in China. We now assume that Chinese PV installations will reach at least 56 GW and global installations around 100 GW in 2017.

For the polysilicon spot price, we still expect a decline – most markedly after the Chinese New Year in mid-February when maintenance has been completed, inventories have been restocked, and REC Silicon’s Chinese joint venture is ramping up production.

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