May 16 (Bloomberg) -- China, the world’s biggest maker of solar panels, is preparing to set anti-dumping duties on imports of the raw material used to make the equipment after determining it was sold below cost, said two people with direct knowledge of the matter.
The Ministry of Commerce has completed probes that determined the U.S. and European Union are subsidizing producers of polysilicon and that imports of the commodity harmed domestic companies, said the people, who asked not to be identified as they weren’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly. The ministry is holding off on setting duties until the EU issues its ruling on anti-dumping tariffs against Chinese-made solar equipment, which will be a factor in China’s decision, the people said.
The EU plans to levy tariffs of as much as 67.9 percent on solar panels from China, with the measures to be announced by June 6, a commerce official from the bloc, who asked not to be identified, said this month. The U.S. began a probe against Chinese manufacturers in 2011 and the EU in September 2012 after falling solar equipment prices led to the collapse of companies including Fremont, California-based Solyndra LLC.
China’s import tax could be high as “the EU situation that we face is not positive,” Lian Rui, a Beijing-based analyst at research company NPD Solarbuzz, said by phone today. Chinese producers of polysilicon including GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Ltd. and Daqo New Energy Corp. will benefit, he said.
Shares of GCL-Poly jumped as much as 3.2 percent to HK$1.93, the highest intraday price since March 13, and traded at HK$1.91 in Hong Kong as of 11:53 a.m. local time. Daqo rose 16 percent to close at $6.44 in New York yesterday.
China responded by starting probes against the U.S. in July last year and the EU in November to determine if producers of polysilicon from those regions such as Hemlock Semiconductor Corp. of the U.S. and Germany’s Wacker Chemie AG were dumping the material.
“If there are no loopholes, Chinese duties would boost polysilicon prices to about $20 a kilogram,” said Lian. The average spot price of the commodity fell to $17.26 a kilogram as of May 6, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
China imported 83,000 metric tons of polysilicon last year, 32 percent more than domestic production output, Liu Jing, an analyst from the China Nonferrous Metals Industrial Association, a trade group that advises the government, said in an April 28 report.