On July 24th, Ministry of Commerce of People’s Republic of China (MOFCOM) will start to impose anti-dumping tariff on the polysilicon products made in USA and Korea. According to the published documents, US polysilicon manufacturers have suffered a serious blow with the tax rate imposed being 53.3%-57%. The tax rate imposed on Korean products is between 2.4%-48.7%, among which the tax rate on OCI is only 2.4%, much lower than other competitors. On the other hand, China may not have any anti-dumping actions toward European manufacturers for now. According to EnergyTrend, a research division of TrendForce, the reason why China chooses the timing to come up with the whole anti-dumping actions toward the polysilicon products made in USA and Korea is because they want to give Europe some pressure, hoping to get better result for Chinese modules shipped to Europe.
Based on the data that’s recently published by EnergyTrend, the oversupply situation of polysilicon in the world still exists. While the capacity from the top five manufacuturers accounts for 60% of the worldwide capacity, shipment quantity from the top five manufacturers accounts for more than 70% in the first half of 2013. Besides, China is now the biggest buyer in the global solar-grade polysilicon market. Impacted by the large gap on tax rates related to MOFCOM’s recent policy, EnergyTrend believes that there are no notable advantages on cost in the short run for US polysilicon manufacturers, which may not be seen in the Chinese market for a while. With the tax rate of OCI being only 2.4%, it will have minimal effect toward costs. Other manufacturers (such as GCL, Wacker, etc) are likely to face intense competition from OCI in the future Chinese market and will not be benefited from it at all. In addition, MOFCOM’s recent policy is an obvious warning to Europe. If the talks between the two sides end up disfavoring China, they are likely to impose high punitive tariff towards European polysilicon manufacturers.
EnergyTrend believes that Taiwanese manufacturers will be the beneficiaries from the trade wars. Because the products from US polysilicon manufacturers can’t stay competitive in future Chinese market, Taiwan, as the second largest market in the world, may become the next target market for US manufacturers. With most of the contracts between Taiwanese manufacturers and US manufacturers being fulfilled, future spot market may provide Taiwanese manufacturers better advantages in terms of bargain. On the other hand, due to the high punitive tariff, US polysilicon manufacturers have suffered a serious blow. In contrast to the low punitive tariff imposed on Chinese cells by the US government, it’s obvious that US manufacturers have been treated unfairly. Therefore, the future focus will be on how the US government reacts to this and if they will begin another anti-dumping and countervailing investigation on the Chinese modules shipped to the US.
EnergyTrend believes that since the Pandora’s Box has been opened, the trade wars in global PV market are likely to expand. The future situation among China, USA, and Europe will have deep impact on global PV market.