Japan Chemical Trading Blog
Drop in Tellurium Prices
According to a Metal Bulletin (MB) report dated October 29, tellurium prices have dropped by USD10/kg from USD125-145/kg last week to USD115-135/kg.
In the Chinese free market, the tellurium price has also dropped by approximately 10%.
Tellurium is a rare metal that is used as a raw material for thin-film solar cells in the form of cadmium telluride.
It is also used for Peltier devices, optical lens and semiconductors, etc.
Cadmium telluride-type solar cells are often used in Europe and the United States because of their cost competitiveness.
However, they are not commonly used in Japan as they contain cadmium, a harmful substance.
MB announces the official tellurium price every Wednesday and Friday, and the price of tellurium dropped for the first time in 10 months since last December.
According to an industrial rumor, 5N Plus, the biggest tellurium consumer, has refrained from purchasing tellurium from at least 2 months ago.
5N Plus is one of the largest global manufacturers of high-purity minor metals and supplies cadmium telluride (CdTe) to First Solar, a leading manufacturer of cadmium telluride (CdTe)-type solar cell modules.
5N Plus renewed its contract with First Solar in May this year for the exclusive supply and recycling of CdTe until 2019 and, at that time, this news also contributed to the increase in the price of tellurium.