Warning from GCL Leads to Polysilicon Shortage

published: 2013-11-18 10:18 | editor: | category: Price Trend

GCL recently announced its 3Q13 net revenue and sales. Based on the results, the net sales of polysilicon and wafers significantly increased. GCL further indicates that the supply of polysilicon may not be able to meet the demand due to client’s high utilization rate and high demand forecast. According to EnergyTrend, a research division of TrendForce, the market in 2014 will grow substantially, thus wafer and cell manufacturers will have expansion plans on production capacity while polysilicon manufacturers will be relatively conservative on the expansion. In 1Q14, it’s very likely that the supply may not be able to meet the demand. 

According to the information exchanged by EnergyTrend and other manufacturers/equipment manufacturers on PV Taiwan, major module, cell, and wafer manufacturers in both Taiwan and China have expansion plans. In fact, Taiwan’s major cell manufacturers are certain about the expansions in 2014. The expansion range for one of the first-tier cell manufacturers is even close to 100% while the rest of the manufacturers plan to expand above 100MW. As for wafers, first-tier manufacturers in both Taiwan and China have been very aggressive. Aside from being positive about future market growth, they enhance price and product spec to extend the gap with second/third-tier manufacturers. Through acquisition, outsourcing, and equipment upgrade, they can enhance production capacity and product spec. In terms of modules, rumors had it that a first-tier manufacturer in China plans to expand the capacity to 1GW. Meanwhile, several module manufacturers in Taiwan also plan to expand the capacity. The capacity for some manufacturers even increased multifold. Overall, EnergyTrend projects that the polysilicon demand will be about 8GW in 1Q14 while the supply will reach 39,500 tons, which is about 7.2GW. Besides, although inventory remains in good shape in 4Q13, EnergyTrend believes that polysilicon shortage is likely to happen in 1Q14 based on the current projection. 

On the other hand, as indicated by the 3Q13 net revenue and sales announced by GCL, polysilicon produced was about 35,531 tons in the first three quarters of 2013, an 8.1% rise compared to the 32,864 tons in the first three quarters of 2012. Polysilicon produced in 3Q13 was around 13,550 tons, a 77.6% rise compared to the 7,631 tons in 3Q12. As for sales, it was around 12,490 tons in the first three quarters of 2013, a 29.2% rise compared to the 9,669 tons in the first three quarters of 2012. Polysilicon sold in 3Q13 was around 4,018 tons, a 511.6% rise compared to the 657 tons in 3Q12. 

Judging from the spot market’s overall performance, Chinese polysilicon price remains between RMB135/kg-RMB140/kg. For wafers, manufacturers are able to revise the price upward and focus more on high-efficiency products to meet clients’ needs. This week’s price continues to go upward. For mono-si wafers, this week’s average price continues to fluctuate. For modules, there are some noises in December market. Chinese manufacturers have started to raise the level of their inventory. Overall, the Industry is turning more conservative in December, which causes the price to drop.

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