Polysilicon prices could hit all-time low by year-end


Polysilicon prices could soon reach a new all-time low, according to a new report by Bernreuter Research.

“It might already happen in late December 2023,” polysilicon analyst Johannes Bernreuter told pv magazine. “I definitely expect it for the first half of 2024.”

The report states that the world could reach 2.95 million MT of polysilicon capacity by the end of this year, with just 200,000 MT of this capacity located outside China.

The company said that China-based Tongwei is set to add another 575,000 MT of polysilicon capacity in 2024, surpassing the global polysilicon demand increase of just 200,000 MT. This significant overcapacity is expected to result in the abandonment of numerous projects announced in the last two years and the elimination of up to 2,400,000 MT of capacity.

“This number also includes capacities still under construction,” said Bernreuter.

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This new industry shakeout will mostly affect China-based producers, European companies, and new entrants.

“While China’s share in the global polysilicon output will further increase to 90% in 2023, the non-Chinese manufacturers Wacker, OCI, Hemlock Semiconductor and REC Silicon will remain exempt from the shakeout,” the report says. “The reason for that is the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act in the United States, which bans products from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in northwestern China.”

Bernreuter said he also expects global PV demand to grow from 425 GW in 2023 to 1.1 TW in 2027. He claimed that this could lead to a shortage of silicon metal, a raw material in polysilicon production.

“Quartz for silicon metal will run short in the second half of this decade,” he said.

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