The 10 largest silicon producing countries in the world are responsible for one of the most important and useful elements in the world, used in industries worth hundreds of billions of dollars. Of course, I am talking about the semi conductor industry, which uses silicon to manufacture semi conductors which are one of the most important technological advents of not just our time, but in the entire human history. There is a reason the place home to the highest valued technological companies in the world is known as Silicon Valley. This is also one of the reasons you might find some common countries in this list and the 16 most technologically advanced countries in the world.
While the United States may be host to the biggest tech companies in the world which use silicon, it is not actually the biggest producer of silicon. In the United States, six companies had seven plants which were used to create silicon materials. A fun fact (loose definition of the term fun) is that all the plants are East of the Mississippi River.
However, silicon, doubling down on its usefulness, proves that it’s not only important for the semi conductor industry, but is also a primary raw material in aluminium alloys as well as the chemical industry. It’s also used in the solar energy industry, just to reinforce the importance of silicon.
As I mentioned earlier, while the US consumes a significant amount of silicon, it is not the highest producer, which necessitates imports from other countries. The biggest exporter of ferrosilicon to the US is also its biggest enemy (if you believe the news) in Russia, which provides 38% of the US’s total silicon imports. This is followed by Canada at 13%, China also at 13%, Brazil at 8% and several other countries accounting for the remaining 28%. On the other hand, silicon metal is mostly provided by Brazil at 28 and Canada, followed by other countries.
On a global level, silicon production has actually decreased, mainly due to reduced demand and present inventories. The spot price also declined by 18% when compared to 2018. To rank the largest silicon producing countries in the world, we headed on over to the reliable Mineral Commodities Summaries 2020, which has information on every possible mineral you could think of. We determined the ranking of each country according to its production in both 2018 and 2019 and then calculated the average of each ranking. Where the average ranking of multiple countries was the same, we simply placed the country with greater production in 2019, higher in our list. So let’s take a look at the countries producing one of the most important elements in the world.
Production of silicon in 2018 (in thousand metric tons): 69
Production of silicon in 2019 (in thousand metric tons): 70