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US imports pose threats to China's polysilicon enterprises

(People's Daily Online)

15:59, July 24, 2012

As the polysilicon products imported from the United States and South Korea increased by 43 percent in 2011 compared with 2008 and the average price also dropped to less than 30 U.S. dollars per kilogram from 300 U.S. dollars per kilogram, the Ministry of Commerce of China began anti-dumping investigation on July 20.

The total amounts of polysilicon products imported by China from the United States and South Korea increased substantially but the price fell sharply

The customs data show that from January to May in 2012, South Korean polysilicon exported to China increased by about 12 percent compared with the same period of last year but the price decreased by more than 62 percent; American polysilicon products exported to China increased by about 95 percent but the price decreased by more than 67 percent.

Compared with 2008, China had increased imported polysilicon products from the United States and South Korea by 432 percent in 2011 and the average price dropped to less than 30 U.S. dollars per kilogram from the highest price of 300 U.S. dollars per kilogram, a drop of 90 percent.

After investigation, China's polysilicon enterprises believe that the imported polysilicon products from the United States and South Korea are suspected of dumping seriously. Moreover, they also found that the U.S. federal government and the state governments had provided massive subsidies to domestic polysilicon enterprises, which gave more cost and price advantages to these enterprises, leading to a large number of low price exports to China.

Meanwhile, the prices of polysilicon products from the United States and South Korea may be lower than the cost prices.

The representative office of the U.S. GT Solar Company in Shanghai, a polysilicon reduction furnace manufacturing enterprise which is the upstream firm of the polysilicon products enterprises, had said that at present most of the polysilicon enterprises in the world use the polysilicon reduction furnaces produced by GT Solar Company and the cost is about 30 U.S. dollars per kilogram. It means that the sales price of less than 30 U.S. dollars almost is unprofitable and even is at a loss.

The principal of a polysilicon manufacturing enterprise of China said that the involved companies' financial statements also demonstrated that South Korean polysilicon manufacturing enterprises are dumping their products to Chinese market as a price lower than the costs.

The WoongJin Energy of South Korea, which mainly produces polysilicon and silicon wafers, had a loss of 8.8 billion won in the second quarter of 2011 and the loss of the third quarter reached up to almost 58 billion won. The principal said that the polysilicon manufacturing enterprises of the United States and South Korea are using a dumping strategy at a low price to drag Chinese counterpart enterprises down, thus forming a monopoly position and reaping fabulous profits.

Most polysilicon manufacturing enterprises in China were impacted severely and 80 percent of 43 enterprises have shut down.

Due to low-priced imports, China's polysilicon industry have suffered a plunge in profits, and accumulated a large number of overstocked products.

According to the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association (CNMIA), 80 percent of 43 Chinese polysilicon producers have been driven out of business, and the remaining eight producers are struggling for survival, leading to a serious loss of technicians and skilled workers.

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