Energy & Chemicals Industry Analysis

Operation Analysis on China’s Polysilicon Industry in 2017

(1) The industry scale grew steadily. In 2017, the production volume of polysilicon was 242,000 tons, increasing by 24.7% YOY; the wafer production reached  87 GW, going up by 34.3% YOY; the solar cell output was 68 GW, with an increase of 33.3% YOY; the solar module output reached 76 GW, increasing by 31.7% YOY. The production scale of each joint along the industry chain accounted for more than 50% of the world’s total, ranking first in the world.

Related report: Research Report on China’s Solar Polysilicon Industry, 2018-2022

(2) The technology constantly improved. The P-type single-crystal and polycrystalline cell technologies continued develop. The average conversion efficiency of regular production lines reached 20.5% and 18.8%, respectively, and could reach 21.3% and 19.2% if passivated emitter rear contact (PERC) and black silicon technologies were adopted. The polysilicon production techniques were further optimized and thus the average power consumption dropped below 70 kWh/kg.

(3) The production costs decreased significantly. Promoted by technological advancement, production automation and intelligent transformation, the production cost of polysilicon in leading Chinese enterprises dropped to CNY 60,000/ton, the production cost of modules dropped below CNY 2/W, and the investment cost for photovoltaic power generation systems fell to CNY 5 /W and the cost of electricity reduced to CNY 0.5-0.7/kWh.

Related report: Research Report on China’s Solar Polysilicon Industry, 2018-2022

(4) The corporate performance continued to improve. Because of the market size expansion, the shipment volume increased substantially. The improved technologies contributed to reducing the production costs, thus giving boosts to the profits of photovoltaic companies. The gross profit margin of silicon materials, silicon wafers, raw and auxiliary materials at the upstream and inverters and power stations at the downstream reached 45.8%, 37.34%, 21.8%, 33.54% and 50%, respectively.

(5) Foreign trade remained stable. From Jan. 2017 to Nov. 2017, China’s total export value of photovoltaic products was USD 13.11 billion, increasing by 1.4% YOY; the import volume of polysilicon was 144,000 tons, with an increase of 17.3% YOY. Driven by the continued expansion of the global photovoltaic market, China increasingly exported photovoltaic products yet at falling prices. The growth rates of emerging markets increased as in Mexico, Brazil, and India. Among them, exports to India ranked first.

Related report: Research Report on China’s Solar Polysilicon Industry, 2018-2022

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