Wacker Gains as China Scraps Polysilicon Import Duty Plan

Wacker Chemie AG, Europe’s biggest polysilicon maker, rose the most in a week and a half after China pledged not to introduce import fees on polysilicon in an accord with the European Union resolving a trade dispute.

Wacker Chemie gained as much as 3.2 percent to 70.18 euros, the biggest intraday increase since July 18, and was trading up 1.7 percent at 4:07 p.m. in Frankfurt. The stock has risen 39 percent this year, valuing the company at 3.6 billion euros ($4.77 billion). Trading volume exceeded three-month daily average by 22 percent.

China’s government said on July 18 that it was imposing tariffs of as much as 57 percent on imports of polysilicon, the main raw ingredient in solar cells, from the U.S. and South Korea. Authorities in China, the world’s biggest maker of solar panels, were also looking into anti-dumping duties on imports from the EU until reaching a trade agreement on July 27. The move was seen as retaliation after the EU introduced preliminary tariffs June 5 of 11.8 percent on solar panels from China.

“Wacker is one of the biggest beneficiaries of the amicable solution between China and the EU,” Robert Schramm-Fuchs, an analyst at Macquarie Group Ltd. in London, said on the telephone. “A main risk has been removed now.”

Earnings estimates and the Munich-based manufacturer’s forecast are unlikely to be affected by the news, because most people anticipated that the tax wouldn’t be imposed, Schramm-Fuchs said.

Wacker Chemie, which is majority-owned by the founding family’s holding company, generated 22 percent of first-quarter revenue from polysilicon. Prices of silicon for the solar industry remain “a major challenge,” Chief Executive Officer Rudolf Staudigl said in a statement on April 30.

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