Tariffs on Chinese solar panels to hit parts makers

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Tariffs on Chinese solar panels to hit parts makers

HONG KONG - An expected fall in exports of Chinese solar products will likely have a negative impact on Korean parts makers as the world’s second-biggest economy remains the top destination for their polysilicon, a report showed yesterday.

The U.S. Commerce Department announced Friday that it plans to impose an anti-dumping tariff of between 31 to 250 percent on Chinese solar cells or modules, which is widely expected to put a dent in their exports.

China’s leading solar cell makers, Suntech Power and Trina Solar, were levied with tariffs of 31.22 percent and 31.14 percent, respectively.

“An expected decline in Chinese exports of solar products to the U.S. should lead to falling polysilicon demand from China,” said Brian Jin, an analyst at Woori Investment & Securities, in the report.

“As such, given their high export dependency on China, Korean polysilicon makers will be affected negatively by the U.S. government’s decision,”

Polysilicon, or polycrystalline silicon, is a key component of solar panel construction. The majority of the world’s supply of polysilicon is used to produce renewable electricity solar-power panels.

“We project that increasing polysilicon exports to Taiwan will offset a portion of lost Chinese exports for Korean polysilicon makers. However, as China’s module production is greater than that of Taiwan, over the short term, polysilicon exports are forecast to decline,” Jin said.

About 24 percent of China’s polysilicon imports come from Korea. The largest portion, 46 percent, comes from the U.S. Yonhap

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