Sales at Hemlock Semiconductor Corp., the largest U.S. maker of material polysilicon used to make solar panels, continued to worsen in an oversupplied market, its largest joint-venture parent Dow Corning Corp. said today.
Hemlock is “challenged” and faces “the threat of potential duties on its products sold into China,” Midland, Michigan-based Dow Corning said in a statement today. It contributed to a 17 percent sales drop at Dow Corning in the first quarter to $1.26 billion.
Hemlock’s performance worsened as “the solar polysilicon industry deals with excess inventories and awaits resolution of the global trade disputes,” Dow Corning Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer J. Donald Sheets said in the statement. China, which makes most of the world’s panels, may soon impose a tax on polysilicon imports.
Dow Corning, which is owned by Dow Chemical Co. and Corning Inc., holds 63.25 percent of Hemlock, Michigan-based Hemlock, while Shin-Etsu Handotai Co. holds 24.5 percent and Mitsubishi Materials Corp. holds 12.25 percent.