Global Polycrystalline Silicon Market to Reach 444,532 Metric Tons by 2017, According to a New Report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc.

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GIA announces the release of a comprehensive global report on Polycrystalline Silicon. Consumption in the global market for polycrystalline silicon (polysilicon) is forecast to reach 444,532 metric tons by the year 2017, spurred by immense demand from burgeoning photovoltaic industry, the largest end-user market. The polysilicon industry currently is in a state of oversupply mainly due to the disproportionate demand-supply cyclical trend worldwide. Uncontrolled spree of massive capacity expansions across US, Europe and China, coupled with recession and highly volatile price fluctuations led to a state of glut with huge supply surplus and weak demand. Solar industry is primed to outpace the traditional semiconductor industry as the single largest polysilicon consumer, mainly for use in solar panels.

Polycrystalline Silicon: A Global Strategic Business Report

Follow us on LinkedIn - Polycrystalline Silicon (polysilicon) is the major raw material for two highly prominent industries, semiconductors and solar. While semiconductors have traditionally been long associated with polysilicon, solar application area has only recently made rapid inroads as a major end-user. Rising popularity of solar electricity, energy conservation and increasing environmental concerns are inducing solar panel manufacturers to use more polysilicon than ever before. In the semiconductor industry, the polysilicon market has since long been supplying increasingly pure semiconductor-grade raw material for various uses. However, barring quality and timely supply, profitability of the industry has always been in question, more so as the market follows a cyclical pattern of growth, where prices are unstable and highly dependent on the demand-supply dynamics.

Over the last few years, the semiconductor industry, unlike the solar application has not yet reached a position where it can generate enough demand to outstrip supply. Conversely, in the solar industry, growing demand for renewable and eco-friendly power resources is likely to spur sales of solar cells and panels, thereby luring new players to foray into the market. As cost reductions in electricity generation gain greater traction, demand from the PV industry will induce momentum into polysilicon industry. Market penetration of thin film materials (amorphous silicon, CdTe and CIGS) is a significant recent development, particularly in the backdrop of escalating silicon prices. Utilization of polysilicon in the PV industry is up for continued improvement with wafers becoming thinner for achieving greater efficiency.

Demand, supply and prices of polysilicon in the international market have always been tremendously volatile. The global recession in 2008-09, which considerably weakened demand from majority of end-use industries further added to the turbulence. Supply continued to outpace demand, as the industry was flooded with new capacity expansions, planned in the past when the scenario was stable. The oversupplied market led to drastic decline in international polysilicon prices. In 2009, the global polycrystalline silicon production capacity increased by atleast 65% and China recorded the highest production ramp up of a huge 300% over the previous year. The voluminous production overlay, combined with the other external factors of economic crisis and collapse of photovoltaic demand in the Spanish market played havoc with global prices. Although government measures such as production standards imposed in China are expected to help the situation to some extent, yet the problem of oversupply is expected to stay rooted in the near term.

The global economy has so far been highly dependent on scarce petroleum-based products, and there is a constant search for alternative and cost efficient sources of energy. The solar industry is one such viable option that promises natural, renewable energy with no environmental impact. Huge demand from the solar industry is currently the major growth driver for the global polycrystalline silicon market. Per capita installed capacity of solar power is the highest in Japan, which makes up for about half of the global solar panels market, followed by the US and major European countries. Governments in several developed European countries such as Germany, Spain and Italy are also encouraging producers of solar energy by providing subsidies and other sops. The United States also voiced intentions of increasing installed base of solar power in the coming years. With such an optimistic future predicted for the solar cell industry, prospects of the raw material polycrystalline silicon also appear bright, although currently a viscous circle of price increases and decreases mars short-term industry prospects.

Asia-Pacific, primarily represented by China and other emerging markets of Korea, Singapore and Malaysia is the largest consumer of Polycrystalline Silicon, as stated by the new research report on Polycrystalline Silicon. China is without doubt, the single most promising Asian market on the horizon with respect to the polysilicon market. However, although Chinese polysilicon production capacity increased tremendously and even resulted in a gross oversupply situation, yet ironically, the country continues to be highly dependent on imports, particularly from the US and Germany. China’s production capability still falls short of stringent quality solar-grade polysilicon with high-energy conversion efficiency. In the future, growth indicators such as expansion in production capacity, low manufacturing cost and significant improvements on the technology front are likely to usher in a new turning point in the industry. The overall Asian polysilicon market is primed to race ahead of other world regions at the fastest CAGR of about 30% through 2017.

Key market participants profiled in the report include GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Limited, Hemlock Semiconductor Group, LDK Solar, M.Setek Co. Ltd, MEMC Electronic Materials, Inc., Mitsubishi Polysilicon America Corporation, OCI Company Ltd, OSAKA Titanium technologies Co., Ltd, Renewable Energy Corp. ASA, Tokuyama Corporation, Wacker Chemie AG, among others.

The research report titled “Polycrystalline Silicon: A Global Strategic Business Report” announced by Global Industry Analysts, Inc., provides a comprehensive review of industry and product overview, market trends and issues, overview of the global PV industry, regional analysis, recent industry activity and profiles of market players worldwide. Analysis and overview is provided for major geographic markets such as the US, Japan, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Rest of World. Market analytics are provided in volume (metric tons) terms for the end-use application areas including, Semiconductors and Solar Cells. The study also provides historic data for an insight into market evolution over the period 2003 through 2008.

For more details about this comprehensive market research report, please visit –

About Global Industry Analysts, Inc.
Global Industry Analysts, Inc., (GIA) is a leading publisher of off-the-shelf market research. Founded in 1987, the company currently employs over 800 people worldwide. Annually, GIA publishes more than 1300 full-scale research reports and analyzes 40,000+ market and technology trends while monitoring more than 126,000 Companies worldwide. Serving over 9500 clients in 27 countries, GIA is recognized today, as one of the world's largest and reputed market research firms.

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Global Industry Analysts, Inc.
Telephone: 408-528-9966
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