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China's weaker solar exports to impact S.Korean parts makers: report

All Headlines 10:39 May 22, 2012

By Kim Young-gyo

HONG KONG, May 22 (Yonhap) -- An expected fall in China's solar product exports will likely have a negative impact on South Korean parts makers as China remains the largest destination for their polysilicon, a report showed Tuesday.

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 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 Co., in the report.

"As such, given their high export dependency on China, South 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 being used for production of renewable electricity solar power panels.

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

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

Jin said China may impose tariffs on U.S-imported polysilicon, as the recent U.S. decision may escalate into a full-fledged trade dispute with China.

"If so, over the mid- to long term, top-tier Korean polysilicon makers that possess strong cost and quality competitiveness should benefit," he said.


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