SHANGHAI Aug 15 China's Ministry of Commerce
and General Administration of Customs have announced they will
halt imports of processed polysilicon, marking an
intensification of an ongoing trade battle between China and
trading partners over solar power exports.
The statement, posted on the website of the Ministry of
Commerce, said the new policy will come into effect on Sept. 1,
and is being implemented in reaction to surging imports from
South Korea, the U.S. and Europe.
Polysilicon is a material used in making solar panels.
China imposed anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on
imports of polysilicon from the European Union in April, having
already imposed similar duties on South Korean and U.S. makers,
seen as retaliation against anti-dumping measures enacted in the
U.S. and Europe against Chinese solar power manufacturers,
accused of dumping panels at below cost overseas.
The move, in the context of other signs of government
support for the industry, may provide some relief to struggling
Chinese solar power component manufacturers and polysilicon
China continues to struggle to digest overcapacity and bad
debt in its solar power industry, which returned to net
profitability in 2013 after years of losses. Policies intended
to develop China's renewable energy industry as a global
champion after the global financial crisis also over-stimulated
market entry and excessive bank borrowing.
Another problem has been the overdependence Chinese
companies have had on overseas export markets. Chinese exports
surged when foreign governments, in particular in Europe, were
heavily subsidizing solar power installations, but when the
subsidies wound down and foreign governments began dumping
investigations on Chinese producers, demand flagged.
(Reporting by Pete Sweeney)