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On Monday, China announced its final anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties to be levied against all imports of solar-grade polysilicon from the US. It is just the latest move in the contentious solar industry trade battle that began in 2012 when the US decided to impose its own duties on imported Chinese solar panels.
An investigation found that China’s producers were suffering due to US and South Korean companies selling products below cost in the Chinese markets. It is expected that these duties will level the playing field and allow domestic companies to compete with imports.
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The duties levied against imports of the raw material needed to make solar panels were set at 57 percent, in line with the initial levels of duty set last year by China’s Commerce Ministry; anti-subsidy duties were set at 2.1 percent.
Imports of South Korean polysilicon were also the subject of anti-dumping duties, set at between 2.4 percent and 12.3 percent.
The Ministry of Commerce stated that the duties would be effective immediately and last until 2019.
The US solar companies REC Solar Grade Silicon LLC and AE Polysilicon Corp, were some of the hardest hit by the new anti-dumping duties, which Washington previously called disappointing.
The duties will help to protect struggling solar technology producers such as LDK Solar Co. Ltd. They come after China’s State Council has promised to increase the support it offers for its domestic solar industry as it seeks to revive the sector which has been plagued with overcapacity and falling prices.
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The US were the first to strike in this trade war when, in 2012, they imposed duties of nearly 30% on all Chinese solar panel imports.
The EU also planned to impose its own duties on Chinese solar panels, but a large number of governments, led by Germany, opposed the plan due to fears of offending China and losing its business. Instead a compromise was agreed in July.
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com