FocusChina’s polysilicon prices down on oversupply, weak demand

08 November 2012 03:16  [Source: ICIS news]

By Felicia Loo

China’s polysilicon prices down on oversupply, weak demandSINGAPORE (ICIS)--The spot prices of polysilicon in China fell on the back of overcapacities of solar panels and extremely weak demand for Chinese-manufactured solar products, according to market participants.

Prices fell by yuan (CNY) 15,000/tonne ($2,400/tonne) in the week ended 7 November to CNY105,000-115,000/tonne DEL (delivered) China, ICIS data showed.

Deals for polysilicon – in chunks, granules and rods – were done mostly at CNY110,000/tonne DEL China, market players said.

“Many players with existing (polysilicon) stocks are eager to offload excess supplies because they want to get cash – which is critical, given such a bearish market,” said a Chinese polysilicon producer.

Solar-grade polysilicon is the raw material for making solar wafers, ingots, cells and modules.

Many medium-sized and smaller-sized polysilicon producers in China have ceased their operations since October last year and there are no near-term plans to restart their operations, market players said.

Some of the producers could not be reached via telephone because they had not paid their telephone bills, reflecting the stark financial difficulties faced by these players in a bleak solar market once heralded as a stellar industry during the boom years from 2008-2010, market players said.

China’s LDK Solar announced on 6 November the termination of its long-term solar wafer supply agreement with Japan-based Sumitomo Corp.

According to the term contract signed in September 2008, LDK Solar was to supply multicrystalline silicon wafers to Sumitomo Corp over an eight-year period from 2009 to 2016, LDK said. 

As part of the original agreement, Sumitomo Corp made an advanced payment representing a portion of the contract value to LDK Solar, according to the statement.

In exchange for LDK’s agreement to terminate the supply agreement, Sumitomo Corp agreed to pay LDK Solar a settlement amount totalling $33.4m, the statement indicated.

Meanwhile, the Chinese authorities are mulling over a slew of policies that may prop up the ailing domestic photovoltaic industry.

However, the trade row between China and the US as well as the EU is intensifying, increasing the stakes on trade barriers.

China will conduct antidumping and anti-subsidy investigations on solar-grade polysilicon imported from EU starting 1 November, the Ministry of Commerce has announced.

The investigations are expected to end by 1 November 2013, but may be extended to 1 May 2014 in extraordinary conditions, the ministry said. The probe will be done together with similar investigations on polysilicon imports from the US and South Korea, which started on 20 July this year, according to the ministry.

($1 = CNY6.25)

By: Felicia Loo

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