Caixin
Aug 20, 2021 09:49 PM
TECH

China’s Top Polysilicon Producers Report Surge in First-Half Profits

The Tongwei booth at a photovoltaic expo in Shanghai on July 5. Photo: VCG
The Tongwei booth at a photovoltaic expo in Shanghai on July 5. Photo: VCG

Two of China’s biggest polysilicon manufacturers reported staggering growth in first-half profits, buoyed by a surge in prices for the essential material used in the production of solar panels.

Xinjiang Daqo New Energy Co. Ltd. (688303.SH), whose shares debuted on Shanghai’s Nasdaq-style STAR Market in July, reported an almost sevenfold increase in net profit attributable to shareholders from a year earlier to 2.16 billion yuan ($332 million), according to its 2021 interim financial report released Wednesday. The company’s revenue grew 112% year-on-year to 4.51 billion yuan.

Its bigger rival, Tongwei Co. Ltd. (600438.SH), also posted strong earnings growth with profits soaring almost threefold to 2.97 billion yuan year-on-year, on revenue of 26.56 billion yuan, a jump of 41.8%, according to its interim financial report published Tuesday.

The pair’s stellar financial performance was fueled by a 145% jump in the price of polysilicon in the first half of this year, with the price of the crucial material standing at 206 yuan per kilogram by the end of June compared to 84 yuan at the beginning of the year, according to data provided by renewable energy research firm InfoLink Consulting. Xinjiang accounts for 42% of global production capacity, according the consultancy.

The price rise could be attributed to the expanded production capacity in the photovoltaic (PV) battery industry, according to a report by the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association.

From January to June, China’s output of photovoltaic batteries reached 97.46 million kilowatts, up 52.6% year-on-year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

Growing demand for photovoltaic cells has prompted polysilicon-makers to beef up their production. The Chinese PV market rebounded in 2020 after a two-year slowdown, installing 48.2 GW of PV, compared to 43.4 GW in 2018 and 30.1 GW in 2019, according to an April report by the International Energy Association (IEA).

China has total installed PV capacity of 253.4 GW installed, almost one third of the global total, according to the IEA.

Tongwei will begin operation of the first phase of its polysilicon manufacturing project in Baoshan in Southwest China’s Yunnan province and the second phase of a similar project in Leshan in Southwest China’s Sichuan province by the end of 2021, according to the interim report. These are part of its efforts to achieve annual production capacity of 330,000 tons by 2022.

Meanwhile, Daqo has set a higher target for 2021, when the company aims to grow its polysilicon production capacity by 10% year-on-year to as much as 85,000 tons, with plans to increase that to 270,000 tons by 2024, according to its interim report.

In the first half of 2021, Tongwei produced 50,600 tons of polysilicon in China, controlling 22.3% of the domestic market, while Daqo held an 18.2% share, according to their interim reports.

On Friday, the Shanghai-listed shares of Daqo and Tongwei closed down 3.2% and 0.12% respectively at 64.30 yuan and 48.96 yuan.

Xinjiang Daqo is one of four Chinese polysilicon-makers to get slapped with an import ban by the U.S. for their alleged links to human rights violations in Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region, which the company has denied. China has also denied such human rights violations are taking place.

Xinjiang Daqo said in its July prospectus that the U.S. sanctions won’t have a significant impact on their business as the country is not a significant market for its goods.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com) and editor Flynn Murphy (flynnmurphy@caixin.com)

Download our app to receive breaking news alerts and read the news on the go.

Get our weekly free Must-Read newsletter.

You've accessed an article available only to subscribers
VIEW OPTIONS
Share this article
Open WeChat and scan the QR code