GCL reports polysilicon, wafer sales increases; ASPs stable

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One of the world’s largest polysilicon and wafer manufacturers, GCL, has recorded a solid performance for the year to date. In both the first nine months of the year, and in Q3, the Chinese manufacturer saw production and sales increase in its polysilicon and wafer businesses. Full production capacity was said to have been achieved in both areas.

Wafers

Comprising the lion’s share of its solar material business revenues, sales of wafers reached around 11,083 MW in the first three quarters of 2015, up roughly 18% on the 9,396 MW sold in the previous year. In Q3, sales were up from 3,620 MW in 2014, to 4,022 MW.

At US$0.189/W, ASPs for wafers in the first nine months of the year decreased slightly, from the $0.195/W in the first six months of the year. In Q3, however, GCL says prices were up, although it did not provide any specific figures.

Looking at wafer production, Q1 to Q3 saw volumes increasing by around 14%, from 9,584 MW in 2014, to 10,928 MW this year. In Q3, the manufacturer produced 3,826 MW, up from 3,681 MW. Overall, Q3 wafer demand was said to be strong on the back of increasing demand for solar PV products in H1 2015.

This coincides with recent analysis from IHS, which forecasts a short-term wafer supply shortage; and from analysis published by Taiwan’s EnergyTrend, and confirmed by GTM Research, that demand for multicrystalline wafers is currently exceeding supply.

"The average utilization rate of tier 1 wafer producers worldwide this year is forecast to exceed 90%; however, most of these producers will be sold out until the end of the year, and some will be sold out through the second quarter of 2016," wrote IHS’ Jessica Jin and Edurne Zoco at the end of October.

Polysilicon

GCL’s polysilicon business has also reported positive developments. Sales in the first nine months of the year jumped around 5.2%, from 11,077 MT in 2014, to 11,658 MT. Of this, Q3 saw 4,653 MT, up from 3,614 MT last year.

Production between Q1 and Q3 2015 increased by roughly 12.5%, from 49,582 MT to around 55,771 MT; while the last quarter saw volumes increasing from 17,241 MT to 19,003 MT.

Regarding ASPs, GCL writes the "price of polysilicon became stable after declining from the mid of last year." The ASP of polysilicon sold in the first three quarters was $16.3/kg, compared to $17.2/kg in the first six months of the year.

Non-solar sale

At the beginning of September, GCL announced it would offload the non-solar arm of its business to Jiangsu Golden Concord Energy Co. for a reported sum of 3.2 billion yuan (around $503 million). According to Bloomberg, this part of the company’s business comprises roughly 32% of its profits.

According to its latest update at the end of October, GCL said the sale is expected to be completed by the end of November, although an extension is possible. The agreements in the original contract remain unchanged; namely, the sale of 17 operational cogeneration power plants, one wind power facility and two incineration plants. Collectively, these assets boast a combined installed power capacity of 843.8 MW.

No update, or actual earnings figures were presented in the most recent communication from GCL.