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Analysis of China's diamond wire industry chain, competition pattern and development prospects in 2023

October 27,2023

Industry overview

1. Definitions

Diamond wire is made by uniformly consolidating diamond powder particles on the high-strength bus matrix in a certain way. Through high-speed grinding motion, diamond wire can serve the purpose of cutting. Diamond wire is mainly used to cut hard and brittle materials, and is widely used in photovoltaic, LED, semiconductor and other industries.

According to the different materials of the busbar, it can be divided into carbon steel diamond wire and tungsten wire diamond wire. According to the production process, it can be divided into electroplated diamond wire and resin diamond wire.

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2. Analysis of the industrial chain: downstream photovoltaic, semiconductor, LED are the main diamond wire application fields

The upstream of the diamond wire industry chain is mainly raw material suppliers, including diamond powder and busbar suppliers; Midstream is a diamond wire manufacturer; The downstream is mainly photovoltaic, semiconductor, LED and other industries. Diamond wire is mainly used to cut photovoltaic crystalline silicon, sapphire, magnetic materials, etc.

The upstream of diamond wire mainly includes busbar material suppliers such as Xiamen Tungsten Industry and Xianglu Tungsten Industry and diamond powder suppliers such as Huifeng Diamond; Midstream diamond wire manufacturers mainly include Meichang Co., Ltd., Dailer New Materials, Stellar Technology, etc.; Downstream diamond wire application enterprises include LONGi Green Energy, TCL Central, Tiantong Co., Ltd., Crystal Optoelectronics, etc.

Industry development history

Two

Basically realize domestic substitution

Before 2010, although Deler new materials were industrialized, diamond wire still relied on Japanese imports. With the gradual application of diamond wire in photovoltaic crystalline silicon cutting and the development of China's photovoltaic industry, the demand for diamond wire has increased, and domestic enterprises have begun to independently develop diamond wire products. In 2015, many domestic companies have been able to produce products below 80 microns, breaking Japan's technology monopoly. The substantial development of China's photovoltaic industry has also promoted the research and development and innovation of diamond wire manufacturers, and since 2018, several major diamond wire manufacturers have expanded their production capacity, upgraded technology, and gradually replaced imported products with domestic diamond wire products.

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Industry policy background

Three

Promote the development of the photovoltaic industry and drive the growth of demand for diamond wire

The photovoltaic industry is currently the most important application field of diamond wire, and diamond wire cutting technology improves the utilization rate of crystalline silicon and reduces the cost of enterprises. In 2021, the "Smart Photovoltaic Industry Innovation and Development Action Plan (2021-2025)" proposed to support the development of ultra-thin sheet cutting technology and improve the supporting industries of the photovoltaic industry. In recent years, the state has issued a number of policies to support the development of the photovoltaic industry, promoting the further growth of demand for diamond wire. The summary and interpretation of the relevant key policies of China's diamond wire industry from 2021 to 2023 are as follows:

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Industry development status

Four

1. Shipment volume of diamond wire, a major supplier in China: the total reached more than 170 million kilometers

In 2020, the shipment volume of China's main suppliers of diamond wire was about 70 million kilometers. With the growth of China's photovoltaic silicon wafer production, diamond wire shipments have also maintained growth, with major supplier shipments approaching 90 million kilometers in 2021. According to preliminary statistics, shipments in 2022 will be more than 170 million kilometers.

Note: The above diamond wire shipments are only counted for 7 enterprises: Sanchao New Materials, Dayler New Materials, Stellar Technology, Meichang Shares, Gaotai Shares, Jiangsu Jucheng and Yuanshi.

2. China's demand for photovoltaic diamond wire: the demand in 2022 will be about 179 million kilometers

In 2021 and 2022, China's PV wafer production reached 227 and 357GW respectively. Combined with the data of the international energy grid for the single GW line consumption in 2021 and 2022, the demand for photovoltaic diamond wire in China will reach 77 million kilometers and 179 million kilometers in 2021 and 2022, respectively.

Note: According to data from the International Energy Network, the single consumption of diamond lines in 2021 will be 340,000 km/GW, and preliminary statistics will be 500,000 km/GW in 2022.

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Five

In 2022, among the listed diamond wire companies in China (including those to be listed), Meichang's diamond wire business ranked first among China's major diamond wire listed companies with a revenue scale of 3.62 billion yuan. The revenue scale of Jiangsu Jucheng diamond wire reached 1.21 billion yuan, ranking second. The revenue of Deler New Material and Stellar Technology diamond wire also exceeded 500 million yuan, second only to Jiangsu Jucheng.

Industry development prospects and trend forecasts

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Six

1. The trend of fine wire will continue, and tungsten diamond wire will develop rapidly

According to data from the China Photovoltaic Industry Association, in 2022, the diameter of the diamond bus bar for polysilicon is 57 microns, and the diameter of the diamond bus bar for monocrystalline silicon is 38 microns, which is already in a thin state. In the future, there is still room for the diameter of diamond busbars, but the decline will slow down, and the China Photovoltaic Industry Association predicts that the diameter of diamond busbars for monocrystalline silicon will drop to about 30 microns by about 2027.

In terms of busbar material, tungsten wire diamond wire products have higher strength and more wear resistance than carbon steel diamond wire, and have better performance under the trend of decreasing bus bar diameter, and gradually become a key development product in the industry. In the future, driven by the trend of large-size and thinning of photovoltaic silicon wafers, tungsten diamond wire will usher in a period of rapid development.

2. By 2028, the demand for diamond wire will exceed 470 million kilometers

Diamond wire cutting loss is low, reducing the cost of photovoltaic silicon wafer manufacturers, and has become an indispensable production tool in the photovoltaic industry. China's photovoltaic industry has great potential for future development, photovoltaic silicon wafer production is expected to grow rapidly, and larger size and thinner silicon wafers increase the average monolithic wire consumption of diamond wire, promoting the demand for diamond wire. By 2028, China's demand for diamond wire for photovoltaics is expected to exceed 470 million kilometers.