Japan Monocrystalline Silicon Output and Sales Keeps Steady

Japanese Society of Newer Metals announced on Thursday the silicon group estimates monocrystalline silicon production and sales by Japanese major silicon ingot makers could increase steadily in 2007 along the demand forecast announced by the society in February 2007. Monocrystalline silicon demand maintains strong mainly for 300 millimeters diameter wafers even when semiconductor industry entered into adjustment phase in the first half of 2007, especially January-March. Both production and sales by Japanese silicon ingot makers exceeded the originally estimated volume in January-June 2007.The society forecasted Japanese domestic production of monocrystalline silicon increases by 11.4% to 7,900 tonnes in 2007 from 2006 and the sales inceases by 9% to 9,200 tonnes. The sales are expected to increase by 3% to 4,000 tonnes for domestic market and by 14.2% to 5,200 tonnes for export. The society also estimated domestic production of polycrystalline silicon increases by 3% to 7,200 tonnes in 2007 from 2006, the material for monocrystalline silicone.Monocrystalline silicon ingot makers are concerned about short supply of polycrystalline silicone. Masahiro Fujisawa, SUMCO’s managing executive officer, pointed out the supply maintains tight even when polycrystalline silicon makers advance output expansion to meet strong demand for both semiconductors and solar cells. Japanese domestic production of polycrystalline silicon decreased in January-June 2007 from originally estimated.