- MIIT says during 2M/2022, China produced 110,000 tons polysilicon whose price increased by RMB 7.0 per kg within a month
- Of the 40 GW silicon wafers produced during the period, close to 5.1 GW was exported
- Crystalline silicon solar cell production was 39.5 GW, and inverter production 27 GW
- PV rolled glass inventory went up in February 2022 with high raw material and fuel prices
During the 2 months of January and February in 2022, Chinese solar PV manufacturing industry produced about 110,000 tons polysilicon, and 40 GW worth of silicon wafers, out of which it exported close to 5.1 GW, according to the country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).
The ministry’s statistics show the average price of polysilicon during the period increased from RMB 233.0 per kg in January 2022 to RMB 240.0 per kg in February 2022. Even for monocrystalline M6 silicon wafers, the price increase within a month was stark at RMB 5.05 per piece, going up to RMB 5.30 per piece.
For crystalline silicon solar cells, the national production was about 39.5 GW during the reporting period while the average price for monocrystalline PERC M6 cells was RMB 1.06 per W in the 1st month of 2022, increasing to RMB 1.09 per W in the subsequent month.
Rise in prices was due to ‘various factors’ according to the MIIT, which were not elaborated.
Nonetheless, MIIT’s Department of Raw Materials Industry shared separately that the average price of 2mm PV rolled glass was RMB 20.2 per sq. mtr. in February 2022, having declined 41.4% on annual basis, and that of 3.2 mm rolled glass dropped 38.4% YoY to RMB 26.3 per sq. mtr. Increase in cost of raw materials and fuel led to high inventory and declining profits for this PV product in the supply chain with some manufacturers curtailing production during the month.
Yet, production capacity expansion was robust with China Construction Glass and Industrial Glass Association stating 41% annual improvement in combined monthly output of 36 manufacturers producing PV rolled glass, representing a total of 949,000 tons. Average inventory of enterprises is about 21 days, it added.
As for crystalline silicon solar modules, MIIT’s official statement counts module exports as 21.9 GW. However, Gessey Consulting counts solar module exports in January (11.96 GW) and February (14.88 GW) together as adding up to 26.84 GW with 4.87 GW exported to India alone in February.
MIIT further adds national output for solar inverters as about 27 GW during the reporting period.
The ministry believes this is a good start to the year and going forward Chinese PV industry will run smoothly and further improve with the manufacturing industry maintaining a positive growth trend as a whole. However, the Asia Europe Clean Energy (Solar) Advisory (AECEA) believes this year the global solar industry may be looking at a supply crunch for EVA (see Another 90 GW Solar In 2022 Forecast For China).
In 2021, China produced 505,000 tons of polysilicon, 227 GW silicon wafers, 198 GW solar cells and 182 GW modules, all parameters significantly up on annual basis, and exported $28.4 billion worth of solar PV products (see China Produced 27.5% More Polysilicon In 2021).