Shipments of both polysilicon and solar wafers at GCL-Poly, China’s largest producer, fell significantly in the third quarter of 201 underlining the overall weakness in demand from major tier 1 module manufacturing customers based in China.

Polysilicon production also fell significantly in the quarter to 7,631MT, down from 12,998MT in 2Q 2012.

Shipments of polysilicon followed the production decline as GCL-Poly reported only 657MT of shipments in Q3, down from 5,971MT in Q2.

Wafer production slowed to 1,689MW in Q3, down from 1,878MW in Q2. However, wafer shipments fell sharply to 1,130MW, down from 1,952MW in Q2.

Polysilicon production for the first nine months of 2012 were approximately 32,864MT, an increase of approximately 78.4% over the same period a year ago when the company was aggressively ramping up production.

GCL-Poly said that its polysilicon average selling price in Q3 2012 was US$20.1/kg, down from US$21.8/kg in Q2.

Wafer production for the first nine months of 2012 was approximately 4,731MW, a 44.4% increase when compared to the same period a year ago, while wafer sales were 4,316MW, an increase of approximately 34.5% over the same period of 2011. However, wafer sales in Q3 2012 were only 3.8% higher than the same quarter of 2011.

The company said that the average selling price of wafers in Q3 2012 were US$0.25 per watt, down slightly from US$0.26 per watt in Q2.

GCL-Poly said that it had been impacted by several factors which included the European debt crisis, US anti-dumping and countervailing duties and the ASP decline in polysilicon and wafers.

The company reiterated that its polysilicon capacity would remain at 65,000MT in 2013, while its wafer production capacity would remain at 8GW next year.

However, this would mean that utilisation rates will remain low without a recovery in demand. According to polysilicon analyst Johannes Bernreuter from Bernreuter Research, GCL-Poly was operating at only 47% utilisation rate in Q3 2012.

Not surprisingly, the company noted that it was focused on production cost reductions in the coming quarters.

PV project pipeline

GCL-Poly said that its Solar Power joint venture business had over 469MW of projects, of which 95MW were under construction.