China's silicon metal exports are expected to rise 32% on the year to 800,000 mt in 2021 on recovering overseas demand, state-run consultancy Beijing Antaike said in its weekly silicon report Sept. 3.
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The COVID-19 outbreak in 2020 crippled overseas demand, impacting Chinese exports.
China exported 465,700 mt silicon metal in January-July 2021, up 45% on the year, the data showed.
Meanwhile, China is seen facing major silicon shortage in the dry season, so the downstream sector remains concerned about insufficient supply to meet demand, Antaike said.
China's dry season typically runs from September through February every year. Silicon production in China relies a lot on hydro power, and its supply is more available during the wet season.
The agency said bullish sentiments in the silicon market has spurred enterprises and traders to replenish stocks actively now. As the sector is staying profitable, market players can tolerate high prices.
Antaike said Chinese silicon producers were mainly delivering to meet orders, so stocks are not sufficient because of robust demand from downstream organic and polysilicon sectors.
Meanwhile, China's annual silicon consumption growth in 2022-23 is seen at 10%, on higher demand seen from domestic photovoltaic and new energy car sectors, according to Western Securities' 2021 silicon report.
The brokerage said the global economy was moving towards using low-carbon, renewable metal resources, while Chinese silicon capacity expansion is being capped by government's environmental policies.
Chinese producers' silicon stocks have hovered around just 18,000-21,000 mt since the start of 2021, with prices rising in the past months, according to Zhongtai Securities.