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The total global wafer production capacity was about 974.2GW

published: 2024-07-02 12:22

(1) The development of the global silicon wafer industry in 2022

By the end of 2023, the total global wafer production capacity was about 974.2GW, up 46.7% year-on-year, and the output was about 681.5GW, up 78.8% year-on-year. From the perspective of production layout, the silicon wafer production capacity of enterprises located in Chinese mainland at the end of 2023 will be about 953.6GW, accounting for 97.9% of the world, occupying an absolute leading position.

In 2023, the total production capacity of the world's top 10 wafer manufacturers will reach 831 GW, accounting for about 85.5% of the world's total production capacity, up 1.2 percentage points year-on-year. The total output of the world's top 10 wafer manufacturers will reach 577.9 GW, accounting for 84.8% of the world's total output, down 4.7 percentage points year-on-year.

(2) The development of China's silicon wafer industry

In 2023, China's mainland silicon wafer production capacity will be about 953.6GW, a year-on-year increase of 46.6%. The output was about 668.3GW, a year-on-year increase of 80%, accounting for 98.1% of the global silicon wafer output, occupying an absolute dominant position in the global silicon wafer field.

In terms of import and export, in 2023, China's silicon wafer exports will be about US$4.86 billion, down 4.1% year-on-year. The export volume was about 70.3GW, a year-on-year increase of 93.7%, accounting for about 10.5% of China's silicon wafer output. In 2023, the wafer export market will be more diversified, and the proportion of emerging markets will increase.

(3) Characteristics of industrial development

New players come intto monocrystalline silicon rods/wafers links. In 2023, the production capacity of monocrystalline silicon rods will increase by nearly 400GW compared with the end of 2022, and the production capacity of traditional monocrystalline silicon wafer companies LONGi Green Energy and TCL Zhonghuan will both exceed 150GW. HYsolar, Meike Co., Ltd., Gokin, Shuangliang, etc., with the industry background and technology accumulation of their major equipment manufacturers in the monocrystalline link crystal pulling or slicing, are also increasing new production capacity at a rapid speed. 

The market share of large-size silicon wafers has further increased. Since 2023, 182mm and 210mm wafers have become the mainstream of the market, accounting for 98% of the total, while wafers of 166mm and below have gradually withdrawn from the mainstream market, accounting for only 2%.

Silicon wafer sizes are diversified. In 2023, rectangular and micro-rectangular wafers will begin to emerge and gradually occupy a certain market share. Among them, the market share of micro rectangular sheets has reached 20.3%, and the market share of rectangular sheets has also reached 10%.

The process of wafer thinning has slowed down. The average thickness of p-type monocrystalline silicon wafers is around 150μm, down 5μm from 2022. The average thickness of n-type silicon wafers for TOPCon cells is 125 μm, and the thickness of silicon wafers for heterojunction cells is about 120 μm, down 15 μm and 5 μm, respectively, from 2022. In 2022, the thickness of silicon wafers used for TOPCon cells and heterojunction cells decreased by 25 μm and 20 μm, respectively, compared with 2021.

(4) Industrial development trends

Since 2023, more and more enterprises have accelerated their vertical integration layout, and looking forward to 2024, the integration of the photovoltaic silicon wafer industry will continue to deepen and the scale will continue to expand. With the gradual ramp-up of TOPCon cells in 2023, the demand for n-type wafers will increase. Not only have the industry's established manufacturers expanded their n-type cell production capacity, but many new cross-border manufacturers have also joined the competition for n-type cells. Judging from various signs in the domestic and foreign markets, the wafer industry will show a more diversified and professional competition pattern in 2024, and domestic and foreign competition will further intensify.

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