Blended polysilicon pricing grew 8 percent quarter-over-quarter, increasing from $20 per kilogram in the final quarter of 2013 to an estimated $21.60 per kilogram in the first quarter of this year, according to the latest PV Pulse. This surpasses the comparatively incremental price increase of 4 percent seen from the third to the fourth quarter of 2013.

Accelerated polysilicon price growth in Q1 2014 was largely due to inventory restocking and low production levels during the Chinese New Year.

Source: GTM Research PV Pulse, Q2 2014

"As is the case with the solar supply chain at large, supply-demand balance in the polysilicon market has tightened up considerably over the last year, with robust demand growth coming into contact with a significantly more consolidated supplier landscape," said lead upstream solar analyst Shyam Mehta. "Consequently, pricing has rebounded from the historical lows of early 2013, and spot pricing has exceeded the $20 per kilogram level for the first time since 2012. With import restrictions on U.S.-produced polysilicon into China in place and a limited amount of additional supply coming on-line in 2014, we expect pricing to continue trending upward over the course of 2014."

GTM Research's base-case forecast calls for blended polysilicon prices to increase 16 percent year-over-year in 2014. By the end of this year, prices are expected to hit $24 per kilogram.

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