China Imposes Anti-Dumping Duties On US Polysilicon Manufacturers

July 23, 2013

The solar energy trade war between China and the US continues to grow — China will now be imposing anti-dumping import tariffs of up to 57% on solar-grade polysilicon from the US and South Korea, according to a recent announcement from China’s Ministry of Commerce. The import tariffs — which will not affect European polysilicon producers — are scheduled to go into effect on July 24th.

US polysilicon anti dumping duties China

Image Credit: Polysilicon via Flickr CC

The new tariffs are generally being interpreted as a direct reaction to the decision in 2012 by the US government to impose tariffs of as much as 250% on Chinese PV modules. The US decision in 2012 was itself largely a reaction to the bankruptcies of some US solar panel manufacturers — as a result of falling solar panel prices, as a result of Chinese competition. After that decision by the US, the Chinese government launched an investigation into the alleged anti-dumping of the raw material by US and South Korean producers last year.

Specifically, the Chinese government took issue with “the US’ tax-exemption program for the advanced-energy manufacturing industry” — a program which is backed both by the federal government and by 15 states.

PV Magazine has more information:

Chinese importers of American polysilicon will have to pay duties ranging from 53.3% to 57%, depending on the dumping margin, according to the Commerce Ministry. South Korean imports will face rates ranging from 2.4% to 48.7%.

Norwegian group Renewable Energy Corp’s US units and AE Polysilicon are among the hardest hit producers: REC Solar Grade Silicon and REC Advanced Silicon Materials will receive the highest rates of 57%, as will AE, according to Commerce Ministry information. Hemlock Semiconductor Corp and MEMC (now known as SunEdison) face 53.3% and 53.7% rates, respectively.

While South Korea’s KCC Corp and Korean Advanced Materials will also receive a high rate at 48.7%, the country’s OCI will see the lowest at 2.4%.

Something to note — the new tariffs seem to be aimed specifically at solar-grade polysilicon. Electronic-grade polysilicon — most-commonly utilized in the semiconductor, optics, microelectromechanical systems industries — is completely exempted from the new tariffs.

It’s expected that the new tariffs will “boost” domestic polysilicon producers and raise polysilicon prices in China.



James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.