REC Silicon swings to profit in Q1 2018

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The Norway-based polysilicon manufacturer achieved revenues of US$69.6 million in the first quarter of this year, a significant improvement over the $57.5 million it registered in the same quarter a year earlier. Operating loss also improved considerably, from $16 million to $5.7 million, while its net result swung from a loss of $17.2 million in the first quarter of 2017, to a profit of $60.5 million in the latest quarter.

Polysilicon sales increased year-on-year, from 2,509 MT to 2,904 MT, while production of polysilicon rose from 3,127 MT to 3,523 MT.

Commenting its performance for the latest quarter, REC Silicon stressed that polysilicon prices grew in the period as a consequence of stronger demand. These prices, however, fell later in the quarter “due to softer markets because of uncertainty in polysilicon demand and the Chinese holiday season,” it said, adding, “Solar grade polysilicon prices continue to be higher inside of China due to supply constraints caused by the solar trade war between China and the United States.”

Polysilicon spot prices inside of China at the end of the first quarter of this year were estimated to be around $16 per kg, around $3 less than in the same quarter of 2017. The global polysilicon market, the company went on to say, is still dominated by long-term fixed sales contracts and high polysilicon inventory levels.

Looking forward, REC said it expects to produce 2,660 MT of polysilicon in the second quarter of this year, and 11,590 MW in full fiscal year 2018. In terms of production costs, the company predicts an average price of $13.4 per kg for the current quarter, and $11.6 per kg for the whole year.

REC Silicon also announced that its Yulin facility, part of its joint venture with Shaanxi Non-Ferrous Tian Hong New Energy Co. Ltd (SNF), has operated at approximately 25% capacity during the first quarter of 2018.