MEMC notes solar wafer price falls stabilizing


After significant polysilicon and wafer price declines in 2009, MEMC executives have become more upbeat about demand and price stability entering the first quarter of 2010 and beyond. In a conference call to discuss fourth quarter results, the company noted that capacity utilization of silicon wafer production was at approximately 80%, with a demand recovery underway in the semiconductor industry, enabling a firming in prices to that sector. In solar, price declines were said to have moderated and the company was now shipping wafers to 10 of the top 25 PV manufacturers, compared to having made shipments to only 2 solar customers at the beginning of 2009.

“I think pricing stopped declining at a rapid rate we’ve had in the fourth quarter, declined at a rate that we could digest,” commented Tim Oliver, Senior VP and CFO at MEMC in the conference call. “And I think in Q1 we are hoping it would stay stable at that level.”

MEMC reported net sales of US$356.7 million, for the fourth quarter, representing an increase of 15.1% from third quarter 2009 net sales of US$310.0 million, and a decrease of 16.2% from fourth quarter 2008, when net sales were US$425.7 million.

“The fourth quarter marked the third sequential quarterly improvement in revenue as we continue to recover from the economic downturn,” said Ahmad Chatila, MEMC's Chief Executive Officer. “Pricing pressure has moderated, product volumes continued to increase and our efforts to improve our competitive positioning are working.”

MEMC noted in the call that semiconductor wafer prices would rise in the ‘single digit’ range in the first quarter and that the company was converting 200mm wafer production to 300mm at its plant in Korea to meet demand for the larger wafer size.

This article requires Premium SubscriptionBasic (FREE) Subscription

Unlock unlimited access for 12 whole months of distinctive global analysis

Photovoltaics International is now included.

  • Regular insight and analysis of the industry’s biggest developments
  • In-depth interviews with the industry’s leading figures
  • Unlimited digital access to the PV Tech Power journal catalogue
  • Unlimited digital access to the Photovoltaics International journal catalogue
  • Access to more than 1,000 technical papers
  • Discounts on Solar Media’s portfolio of events, in-person and virtual

Or continue reading this article for free

Read Next

July 17, 2024
Germany has been consistently adding over 1GW of solar PV capacity every month since March 2023, and has passed a total of 90GW capacity.
July 17, 2024
From January to May this year, 251 new solar projects became operational in the US, with a combined capacity of 10,669MW.
July 17, 2024
Total global corporate funding for solar on the other hand is down year-on-year, according to Mercom Capital Group.
July 17, 2024
US utility PacifiCorp and rPlus Energies signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) for the Green River Energy Center project in 2022.
July 17, 2024
US-based PV manufacturer Mission Solar Energy has unveiled three new modules aimed at commercial and industrial and utility-scale projects.
July 17, 2024
Liquidity is rising at great pace in US tax credit transferability for clean energy, helping lenders become comfortable with the market.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
July 31, 2024
1:00 PM (BST) / 2:00PM (CEST)
Solar Media Events
September 24, 2024
Warsaw, Poland
Solar Media Events
September 24, 2024
Singapore, Asia
Solar Media Events
October 8, 2024
San Francisco Bay Area, USA