Asia-Pacific Region is the Largest Market for Polysilicon

Polysilicon is also called polycrystalline silicon, which is the purest form of silicon. It is widely used as a key material for the production of solar cells and electronic chips, due to its semiconducting properties. The global polysilicon market is expected to reach USD 8.90 billion, by 2021, at a CAGR of 13.00%, from 2016 to 2021. Rapid growth in the solar photovoltaic and in the semiconductor markets are the key factors fueling the demand for polysilicon around the world. However, high initial capital investment and anti-dumping policies hinder market growth.

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The key companies profiled in this report include, GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Limited (Hong Kong), Wacker Chemie AG (Germany), OCI Company Ltd. (Korea), REC Silicon ASA (Norway), Daqo New Energy Corp. (China) Tokuyama Corporation (Japan), Hemlock Semiconductor Corp. (U.S.), SunEdison, Inc. (U.S.), Woongjin polysilicon Co., Ltd. (Korea) and Activ Solar Gmbh (Austria). The growth of the solar photovoltaic and electronic end-use industries is resulting in the increased demand for solar photovoltaic and electronic wafers respectively, which in turn is driving the global polysilicon market.  The major players have adopted agreements, expansions, joint ventures and innovations as their key growth strategies to retain their competitive positions in the global polysilicon market from 2012 to 2016.

GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Limited (Hong Kong), the biggest polysilicon manufacturer in the world, accounted for a 25% market share, in 2015. The company has adopted agreements as its key strategy in the global polysilicon market. For instance, the company announced the signing of long-term supply contracts with JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd. (China), GD Solar Co. Ltd. (China), Tongwei Solar Co. Ltd. (China), and Hareon Solar Technology Co., Ltd. (China). As per the contracts, GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Limited would supply approximately 9.3GW of high efficiency wafers and polysilicon materials to these companies from 2014 to 2016, and in return, the company will receive a certain amount of advanced deposits. Moreover, the agreements include, GCL’s co-operation with these companies in the areas of R&D and supply chain management.

Wacker Chemie AG (Germany) was the second largest player in the global polysilicon market, in 2015. The company has officially opened its new polysilicon production site at Tennessee, the United States. The company is expecting to reach full production capacity of 20,000 MT per year in the plant by the third quarter of 2016. This integrated production site will leverage new opportunities for the company to explore the U.S. polysilicon market. Moreover, with the establishment of this facility in the world’s key region, the company is aiming to strengthen its global presence and enhance its competitive position in the polysilicon market.

Polysilicon is used as the initial building block to manufacture solar PV and several kinds of electronic chips, owing to the electrical and optical properties of pure silicon. This market intelligence report estimates the global market size for polysilicon by form, end-user industry, and region, in terms of both, value and volume. The global polysilicon market is expected to reach USD 8.90 billion, at a CAGR of 13.00%, by value, from 2016 to 2021. The demand for polysilicon is primarily driven by the rapid growth of its major end-use industries, such as solar PV and electronic industries. However, decrease in prices coupled with anti-dumping policies hinder market growth.

The Asia-Pacific region led the polysilicon market in 2015, both, in terms of volume and value, followed by North America and Europe. The Asia Pacific region, Europe, and North America are relatively mature markets as compared to the MEA & SA (South America, Middle East and Africa) market. The increasing demand for solar PV in the leading Asia-Pacific region countries, such as China, Japan, India and South Korea is driving the market. Moreover, this region is expected to experience the fastest growth rate, as the demand for polysilicon is driven by the high PV installation targets in India and China. The North American polysilicon market size was lower than that in the Asia-Pacific region in terms of value, in 2015 and is expected to experience a moderate growth rate from 2016 to 2021. Europe was the third largest polysilicon market in 2015, as the demand of solar PV in Europe is lower than that in the other regions. The MEA & SA region was a relatively untapped market for polysilicon, in 2015, due to the lack of significant demand for solar PV in this region.

Solar PV is the largest and fastest growing end-use industry in the global polysilicon market, due to the huge requirement of polysilicon solar wafers. Moreover, the growth of the solar PV market will be supplemented by the increasing PV module installation capacity across the world. However, the market size of the electronics industry is smaller, and its growth rate is expected to be slower as compared to the solar PV industry. Though the demand for semiconductors has increased in the automotive and industrial segments, the decreasing growth of the personal computer (PC) market hampers the demand for semiconductors, which will subsequently lower polysilicon consumption in the overall electronic industry.