The market for silicon and ferrosilicon is global, and local events can make waves across the world. If you're involved with silicon and ferrosilicon in any way, you know that everything's important - both the small details and the big picture. A complete perspective is essential, whether you're preparing a company strategy, bringing product to market, buying, selling or investing.
Whatever your challenge, this report gives you deep insights to help you make well-informed recommendations or decisions. It's a detailed account of:
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Silicon and ferrosilicon are manufactured using broadly the same process and are physically similar, but are very divergent in terms of their applications. Silicon metal is used in the manufacture of aluminium alloys, silicones and polysilicon, whereas at least 90% of ferrosilicon is used in the production of iron and steel.
World consumption of silicon metal experienced strong growth from 2008 to 2011, to reach 2.25Mt, largely driven by the growing demand for polysilicon in photovoltaic solar panels. Much of this growth was driven by government incentives designed to encourage the wider take-up of solar power, but spending cuts, particularly in the Eurozone, undermined the support for solar power from 2011 onwards. Demand growth in Asia is now underpinning a recovery in demand for polysilicon, which is forecast to grow at 8.3%pa over the next five years. The main factor affecting demand for silicon in aluminium alloys is their use in automotive applications; growing output of vehicles in China and other industrialising countries is likely to result in improving growth rates. Consumption of silicones is affected by consumer spending, particularly in the areas of cosmetics and home improvements; the emergence of a prosperous middle class in industrialising nations could result in demand for silicon metal in silicones reaching 3.9%pa to 2019.
Global consumption of ferrosilicon more than doubled from 2000 to 2013 to reach 8.08Mt; one of the main factors behind this rapid growth was its use in silicon-rich construction steels in China. Over the next few years growth in steel output in China is expected to moderate as well as moving away from construction steels. In the years to 2019, demand for ferrosilicon in steel is expected to be more aligned to growth in steel output.
World production of silicon metal was 2.17Mt in 2013, some 90kt below estimated consumption, but the draw-down of inventories built up in 2010 and 2011 made up the shortfall. Around 58% of silicon metal is produced in China and at least 50% of output is exported. In contrast, China accounted for 73% of global output of ferrosilicon (7.84MT) in 2013, but the existence of a 25% export tax and anti-dumping duties in the USA and Europe, resulted in exports accounting for less than 15% of Chinese output.
Prices for silicon metal and ferrosilicon are primarily cost driven, reflecting overcapacity in both markets.
This in-depth report from Roskill covers every aspect of the silicon and ferrosilicon market, analysing developments and trends while also providing forecasts out to 2019 for supply, demand and prices.
Silicon metal consumption by end-use, 2000 to 2019 (Mt)