FocusChina polysilicon prices rising on import penalty tariff hopes

20 June 2013 04:48  [Source: ICIS news]

By Felicia Loo

Solar-grade polysilicon - which is usually traded in chunks, granules and rods - is the raw material for making solar wafers, ingots, cells and modules.SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Spot prices of polysilicon in China increased as market players anticipate the country to announce its own penalty tariffs on imports of the solar products’ feedstock soon, in response to EU’s recent trade move, industry sources said on Thursday.

Two weeks ago, the EU introduced a provisional tariff penalty on solar products imports from the northeast Asian country.

In the domestic Chinese market, spot polysilicon was assessed at yuan (CNY) 120,000-130,000/tonne ($19,576-21,207/tonne) DEL (delivered) China on 19 June, up by CNY2,000/tonne from the previous week, according to ICIS.

It is widely expected that China will export as much solar products as possible to the EU by 6 August, after which the EU antidumping duties (ADDs) will quadruple, they said.

 “China [may] dump big time and send as much as they [can] by 6 July so that the [products] can reach Europe by 6 August,” said a market participant.

Both offers and buying indications have increased over the week, consequently pushing up spot transactions to CNY126,000-128,000/tonne DEL China. Previously, spot deals were mostly done at the low-CNY120,000/tonne levels.

In the week ended 19 July, offers were heard at yuan (CNY) 130,000-135,000/tonne DEL China, while a few unconfirmed offers were heard at CNY145,000/tonne DEL China. The buying indications, on the other hand, were heard at CNY120,000-125,000/tonne DEL China, according to market participants.

Solar-grade polysilicon - which is usually traded in chunks, granules and rods - is the raw material for making solar wafers, ingots, cells and modules.

The EU on 4 June imposed provisional ADDs on imports of solar panels, cells, and wafers from China, with the initial duty set at 11.8% until 6 August 2013.

After that, the duty will be set at 47.6%, which is the level required to remove the harm caused by the dumping to the European industry, according to the European Commission. In total, the provisional duties will be in place for a maximum of six months.

By 5 December, the EU will have to decide if definitive ADDs will be imposed for a duration of five years.

In China, solar wafer prices edged higher to $0.98/piece, while solar wafer prices in Taiwan rose to $0.95-1.00/piece from $0.90-0.95/piece previously. The rise in solar wafer prices also helped push up the local polysilicon prices, market participants said.

China may soon start levying a penalty tariff on polysilicon imports, with the potential ADDs likely to be set at around 50% for the US, 40% for the EU and less than 10% for South Korea, according to market sources.

The ADDs would translate to higher costs of imports, and thus boost demand for locally-produced polysilicon in China that would drive up prices in the domestic market, they said.

($1 = €0.75 / $1 = CNY6.13)

Read John Richardson and Malini Hariharan’s blog – Asian Chemical Connections

By: Felicia Loo

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