SEMI: PV pushed Si shipments in 4Q

March 11, 2009 – Global shipments of polysilicon surged 41% from the start of 2008 to year’s end, thanks to new capacity coming online — and even the late-year meltdown across the semiconductor industry and beyond didn’t curtail growth, according to data from SEMI.

Total polysilicon shipments in 4Q08 were 12,617 metric tons, about 6.8% higher than 3Q, and 41.4% higher than the 8921 MT shipped in 1Q08. That slowing growth in 4Q (Q-Q growth 2Q and 3Q was 18.2% and 12.0% respectively) happened in the teeth of a slowdown in semiconductor activity, but still reflected continued demand in the other major poly-Si consuming sector, solar photovoltaics.

“With the onset of new capacities coming on-line this year, solar should be free of its perennial bottleneck,” said SEMI’s Dan Tracy, senior director of industry research and statistics, in a statement. “Combined with friendly policies now in place, the industry can be in an enviable position of driving economic recovery.”

The data tracks net shipments (gross shipments minus returns) of polysilicon including CZ prime, CZ offgrade, float-zone, and solar, from companies including DC Chemical, Hemlock Semiconductor, MEMC Electronic Materials, REC Silicon, Tokuyama, and Wacker Chemie.

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