China sets poly subsidy tariffs

China has announced preliminary anti-subsidy tariffs on imports from several US producers of polysilicon, according to reports from Beijing.

The tariffs of up to 6.5% will apply to polysilicon from companies including Hemlock Semiconductor, one of the world’s largest suppliers of the solar raw material, said Reuters.

But several producers, including US subsidiaries of Norway’s REC and SunEdison unit MEMC Pasadena were exempted, reports said.

The preliminary anti-subsidy tariffs are the latest example of the tensions surrounding solar trade between the West and China over recent years.

However, the latest tariffs – which relate to claims of unfair subsidies for solar producers from their home governments – are well below preliminary anti-dumping duties announced in July, which saw US imports hit with rates of up to 60%.

China’s domestic polysilicon industry lobbied the government for fair-trade probes into imports of the material from the US and Korea.

However, many Chinese PV manufacturers are known to oppose the duties, as much of the polysilicon produced in China is seen as being uncompetitive on cost and quality.