China imposes anti subsidy duties on US polysilicon

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The Chinese Ministry of Commerce (Mofcom) today announced, in a terse statement on its website, the imposition of anti subsidy duties on imports of U.S.-manufactured polysilicon.

The Chinese government imposed steepling anti dumping duties of up to 57 per cent on U.S. and South Korean-made solar polysilicon in July and has now announced a preliminary decision to impose anti subsidy duties on top of that, from Friday onwards.

The Mofcom statement mentioned only U.S. firms would be affected and failed to specify which companies would face duties and, crucially, how much the anti subsidy duties would be, adding only: "subsidies exist and China’s polysilicon industry suffered substantial harm."

REC escapes duty, according to one report

A Reuters report about the statement claims the latest duties will only be applied to polysilicon from Hemlock Semiconductor Corp and AE Polysilicon Corp because the solar raw material manufactured by REC Solar Grade Silicon, REC Advanced Silicon Materials and MEMC Pasadena had not been subsidized by the U.S. government or had been assisted to an extent too low to penalize.

The Reuters report states the new subsidy will be set at a relatively low 6.5 per cent.

If, as reported, Norwegian poly manufacturer REC has escaped further duties on polysilicon shipped to China, the news will come as a welcome relief to board members currently trying to persuade shareholders to separate off the group’s profitable downstream business to return to its polysilicon manufacture roots.

REC spokesman Mikkel Toerud this afternoon repeated the claim his company would be unaffected by the new duties, according to a Bloomberg report. The news agency ran a report stating REC had made significant share price gains today when investors misinterpreted the anti subsidy statement from Mofcom, presuming the new tariff would replace the anti dumping tariff which has hit REC’s products in China.