China’s polysilicon producers urge EU dumping probe


China’s Xinhua has reported that Jiangsu Zhongneng Polysilicon Technology Development Co. Ltd, Jiangxi LDK PV Silicon, China Silicon Corporation and Daqo New Energy have sent a request to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) urging it to launch an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy probe into "cheap" polysilicon products from the EU. It is now said to be reviewing the request.

The newspaper added that most EU polysilicon products are imported into China by Germany-based Wacker Chemie AG. Last year, it said, Wacker imported over 10,000 tons of polysilicon into the country. In the first half of 2012, imports from the company have already reportedly reached 9,000 tones.

Overall, this year is said to have seen 9,300 tons of polysilicon imported into China from the EU, thus representing year-on-year growth of 30.8%. However, Xinhua, which was quoting figures from the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association, said prices have fallen 47.5%, to reach US$27.5 per ton. "The price is significantly lower than normal. Such imports have seriously harmed the interests of China's polysilicon sector," Zhao Jiasheng, head of the association, told Xinhua.

Responding to the news, Suntech's European spokesperson, Björn Emde told pv magazine, "These understandable calls for retaliation negatively affect us so this is clearly nothing we promote. As a global company we source from all regions of the world and believe in free trade and open markets everywhere."

MOFCOM already announced in July that it will launch investigations into solar grade polysilicon from the U.S. and Republic of Korea on the back of the U.S.-Sino trade dispute over solar cells. The latest calls for an investigation into polysilicon from Europe follows the announcement that an anti-dumping complaint, again led by SolarWorld, has been filed with the European Commission.

Responding to the news of the filing, MOFCOM said at the start of August that it is not cheap cells coming from China, which have led to module price declines, but rather it is polysilicon price reductions that have driven module price decreases.

A statement on MOFCOM’s website read, "The down-going of pricing of raw material for PV cells and advancement of technology is the main reason for China’s PV cells’ competitive price. It is not the dumping claimed by some EU companies. Price of polysilicon imports, the major raw material for PV cells keeps going down, from the highest of nearly 300 USD/kg in 2008 to less than 30 USD/kg at present, which brings about a down-going price of PV cells.

"Meanwhile, in recent years, China’s PV industry attaches importance to technology advancement and large-scale production, which further brings down the production costs. It is groundless to claim there is a dumping of PV cells from China."

It added, "China’s industrial advantage is the production of solar cell modules and solar cell panels, but the raw materials, equipments and production technologies are mainly imported from EU and the US. The development of China’s PV industry not only drove the export of EU raw materials and high-level equipment, but also created many jobs for EU downstream industries such as the installation of PV power generation equipments. The PV industries of the two sides are interdependent and mutually beneficial; any restrictive measures against China’s PV cells will harm the interests of the EU industry."

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