30 May 2013 05:17 [Source: ICIS news]
By Felicia Loo
SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s polysilicon prices are expected to be stable ahead of trade policy moves by the EU or China over dumping of solar and photovoltaic products into their respective markets, industry sources said on Thursday.
On 29 May, spot prices of polysilicon in Asia were assessed unchanged at $14-18/kg (€11-14/kg) FOB (free on board) NE (northeast) Asia, according to ICIS.
Spot transaction volumes were relatively small as most market players preferred not to commit to concrete bids and offers until the legislative decisions on imposing antidumping duties (ADD) of both China and EU are in place, market participants said.
Fundamentally, polysilicon demand is getting softer while supply is ample, they said.
“[Polysilicon] demand has lowered from the European market. Some Chinese manufacturers have decreased their module shipments because of the impending ADDs, so polysilicon demand has dropped,” said one market participant.
In addition, polysilicon inventories of solar manufacturers are high because they rushed to secure the feedstock in recent months amid widespread speculation of the announcement of the ADDs, the participants said.
Polysilicon is the solar feedstock used to make solar wafers, ingots, cells and modules. It is typically traded in chunks, granules and rods.
Meanwhile, Europe’s solar industry trade group EU ProSun on Tuesday reiterated its call for stiff ADDs on solar and photovoltaic products imported from China. The group called for high duties, saying that “dumping of up to nearly 90% is taking place in Europe.”
The European Commission, which is considering duties averaging 47%, is expected to make a decision next month.
Earlier this week, Chinese premier Li Keqiang spoke out against duties during a visit to Germany, saying that the duties would harm not only producers in China but also consumers in Europe.
German chancellor Angel Merkel and economics minister Philipp Roesler called on the EU and China to avoid a confrontation and instead resolve the dispute through further talks.
China may soon announce its long-awaited decision on levying a penalty tariff on polysilicon imports from the US, the EU and South Korea. The potential antidumping ADDs on imported polysilicon may be around 50% for the US, 40% for the EU and less than 10% for South Korea, according to market sources, who added that decision will be made sometime in June.
ADDs imposed on polysilicon imports would translate to higher costs of imports and thus boost demand for locally-produced polysilicon in China, they added.
In the Chinese domestic market, the spot polysilicon trades were heard done at levels between CNY120,000-125,000/tonne ($19,576-20,392/tonne) DEL (delivered) China, with a few transactions heard at CNY123,000-125,000/tonne DEL China unconfirmed, market participants said.
China imported 7,265 tonnes of polysilicon in April, up by 17% year on year, and 13% higher months on month, official data showed. Its polysilicon exports more than doubled to 116 tonnes in April from the same time last year, but plunged 82% from March.
($1 = €0.77 / $1 = CNY6.13)
Read John Richardson and Malini Hariharan’s blog – Asian Chemical Connections
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