Brazilian silicon producers slash output

Nov 15, 2012 | 01:28 PM | Suzy Waite

Tags  Silicon, Rima Industrial, Ligas de Aluminio, Liasa, Minasligas, Globe Specialty Metals, Jeff Bradley, hydropower Brazil

NEW YORK — Brazil’s silicon industry has significantly curtailed output as producers opt to sell power back to the spot market instead of producing in a move some speculate could eventually lead to higher silicon prices in the United States. 

A combination of slumping silicon prices and a dry winter has led a number of Brazilian producers to turn off capacity, choosing instead to sell their power back to other consumers, participants say.

Depending on how much rain Brazil gets in the next few months, this trend could continue into early next year and push U.S. silicon prices up by curbing imports, market players speculate. U.S. prices are currently at two-year lows of $1.25 to $1.30 per pound.
At least three Brazilian silicon producers have significantly cut production, sources told AMM. Rima Industrial SA, which has a capacity of 65,000 tonnes per year, is running about 43 percent of its total production, a source familiar with the operation told AMM. Ligas de Aluminio SA (Liasa) and Cia Ferroligas Minas Gerais (Minasligas) have also shut a significant amount of their production, other participants said. ....

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