Polysilicon Imports into China Drop Sharply
China imported significantly less polysilicon, the feedstock for solar cells, in 2020. According to Chinese customs statistics, polysilicon imports slumped by 30% from 144,503 metric tons (MT) in 2019 to 100,776 MT in 2020.
“Although South Korea still exported sizeable volumes from inventories to China throughout the year, the shutdown of a production capacity of 60,500 tons – at OCI and Hanwha in the first quarter – has left its trace,” says Johannes Bernreuter, head of Bernreuter Research and author of the Polysilicon Market Outlook 2024, the new report from the polysilicon market expert.
High industrial electricity rates in South Korea forced both OCI and Hanwha Solutions to announce in February 2020 that they would terminate the power-hungry production of solar-grade polysilicon in the country. As a result, South Korean polysilicon exports to China plummeted from 48,881 MT in 2019 to 15,331 MT in 2020. They had still been above 70,000 MT at the height in 2016 and 2017 before the country’s third polysilicon manufacturer, Hankook Silicon, became insolvent in 2018. […]