China: Probable duties on silicon

According to a report by Bloomberg, GCL-Poly Energy Holdings, Daqo New Energy Corp. and several other producers in the polysilicon supply sector have presented their data to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce. The ministry has not accepted the cases yet, a move which will then proceed to the filing of anti-dumping complaints that will aim to impose import taxes.

"China’s Ministry of Commerce will consider Sino-U.S. trade to determine whether to accept the complaints," Gao Hongling, deputy secretary-general of the China Photovoltaic Industry Alliance, told Bloomberg.

After the news was released, stock prices of the polysilicon suppliers in China fell. On Friday last week, GCL Poly (HKG:3800) saw a fall of -1.17%, Daqo New Energy (NYSE:DQ) closed on June 22 with -3.03% and LDK Solar (NYSE:LDK) closed at -7.42%.

pv magazine had reported in May this year that retaliation from the Chinese side, after the U.S. DOC ruled that China had violated fair trade policies, might come. Tore Torvund, CEO of REC Silicon had stated, "Tariffs are not in the best interest of American solar manufacturing, the American solar industry, or American solar consumers. We are concerned about the increased likelihood that China will retaliate with their own unilateral tariffs on polysilicon exports from U.S. producers, such as REC Silicon."

The top polysilicon producers include GCL Poly, Wacker Chemia, Hemlock and OCI Chemical. Many photovoltaic producers are also dependant on cheaper imports of polysilicon. One major Chinese producer, Yingli, for example has a polysilicon supply agreement with OCI Chemical Corporation from Korea until 2015.

If duties are added, then shipments would become more expensive decreasing the competitive edge of companies like Yingli. Polysilicon prices increased for the first time end of May this year since the first increase in February as Bloomberg New Energy Finance reported. The polysilicon prices have been tumbling more than 60 percent in the last year due to oversupply.