First Solar tellurium contract could leave spot market short on supply, boost prices

Large-scale tellurium supply commitments to United States-based solar panel manufacturer First Solar could bolster prices for the metal, with some market participants expecting these undertakings to leave the market short a significant amount of spot supply.

Canada-based 5N Plus last week announced a three-year contract to supply First Solar with tellurium through to 2021.
Although the Canadian firm declined to comment on how much volume it will supply to First Solar over that period, industry sources believe the figure to be around 160-180 tonnes of tellurium per year, amounting to approximately 480-540 tonnes over the full duration of the contract.
As a result, market participants have expressed concerns over supply with a significant volume of tellurium - around 30% of total worldwide production per year - now effectively removed from the market for the next three years.

Annual production of tellurium is between 600 and 650...


Tanya Ashreena

May 10, 2018

10:55 GMT