• China has extended tariffs on solar-grade polysilicon from the US and South Korea
  • The extension has been decided to remain for another five years and will come into force from January 20, 2020
  • Lifting the tariffs would hurt the prospects of domestic polysilicon manufacturing industry, the Chinese government ruled after an investigation

In a blow dashing the hopes of solar-grade polysilicon makers in the US, China has decided to extend tariffs on PV modules’ key raw material sourced from the US and South Korea for another five years. This comes into effect immediately, i.e. January 20, 2020, as per the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM).

Solar-grade polysilicon from the US has been subjected to anti-dumping and countervailing duties in China since January 20, 2014 for a period of five years which completed on January 19, 2019. Just a day before that, on January 18, MOFCOM launched an investigation into the matter to decide whether to continue the duties.

“The Ministry of Commerce ruled that if the countervailing measures are terminated, subsidies for imported solar-grade polysilicon originating in the United States may continue or recur, and damage to the domestic solar-grade polysilicon industry may continue or recur,” reads the ministry’s decision.

Norwegian polysilicon manufacturer REC Silicon said it was anticipating the news along with the US government ‘as it was made by MOFCOM pursuant to an on-going review procedure with a pre-determined schedule’.

Nonetheless, MOFCOM decision comes close on the heels of the US and Chinese governments signing Phase I of a bilateral Trade Agreement softening the escalating trade conflict between the two nations under which China has agreed to buy at least $200 billion more in goods and services from the US over the next two years, polysilicon included (see US Polysilicon Makers Thank President Donald Trump).

REC Silicon looks forward to working closely with USTR in relation to the execution of the Phase 1 Trade Agreement and the fulfillment of China’s solar-grade polysilicon purchases commitment,” said REC Silicon management.

Regarding its Moses Lake, US located polysilicon fab, REC Silicon updated that it remains shut, and it will assess the market for solar grade polysilicon in light of the Phase I Trade Agreement.