China’s silicon export prices have slid in the past week amid weakening demand.

On Wednesday October 29, export prices for Grade 553 silicon stood at $2,120-2,160 per tonne, down from $2,150-2,180 per tonne last week.

“It seems big purchases have ended for this year. That means global clients are now only buying enough to match their rising (aluminium) capacity, or just want to make up for substandard grades from previous shipments,” a major exporter said.

Some clients have recently purchased Grade 553 silicon metal at $2,150 per tonne fob, he added.

Another exporter in southern China said he has exported this week at $2,120 per tonne, compared with $2,150 per tonne last week.

“Most Grade 553 buyers are small-to-medium aluminium smelters, and their purchase orders are not that big,” said a source at a third exporter.

Clients have started talks for 2015 purchases, with more interest in higher grades, she added.

“We have got good inquiries for Grade 3303 or 4402 from major clients,” she said.

China produced a total of 700,000 tonnes of silicon in the first half, up 16.7% year-on-year. It exported 390,000 tonnes of silicon during the period, up 27% year-on-year.