According to Bernreuter Research, polysilicon consumption for the production of solar wafers is set to impact the supply-side as the PV industry adopts diamond wire technologies that significantly lower kerf loss.
Leading polysilicon and solar wafer producer GCL-Poly Energy Holdings has experienced a rise in polysilicon prices over the last 12 months, while experiencing a similar decline in the selling prices of solar wafers, causing a collision in prices going in the opposite direction that massively impacted its wafer operations profitability in the first quarter of 2017.
China-based polysilicon producer Daqo New Energy has reported its best ever financial quarter in terms of cost structure, production volume and polysilicon quality as it fully ramped annual capacity to 18,000MT.
Major polysilicon producer Wacker said polysilicon shipment volumes fell substantially in the first quarter of 2017, while revenue declined around 10%. The China market had been relatively weak with only a slight rebound in demand at the end of the quarter.
Since Wacker Chemie opened its new 20,000MT polysilicon plant in Charleston, Tennessee in 2016, there was a good chance that the German-headquartered chemicals firm could overtake incumbent market leader, GCL-Poly.
China-based polysilicon producer Daqo New Energy is responding to the need for higher specification polysilicon demand by increased adoption of high-efficiency mono wafers, notably being required for PERC (Passivated Emitter Rear Contact) solar cells.
China-based polysilicon producer Daqo New Energy said it had started production at its Phase 3A facility, bringing an extra 6,000MT of polysilicon capacity online and an annual production run rate of 18,000MT.
According to polysilicon market specialist, Bernreuter Research recent polysilicon import levels into China surged between October and November 2016, while ASP’s also recovered, a trend seen the year before and ahead of China installing a record 22GW of solar in the first half of 2016.
While there is no shortage of leading indicators in the PV industry that can be used to predict future trends in manufacturing and across the various companies involved in this space, one of the most pertinent ones relates to capital expenditure (or capex).