BEIJING, July 20 (Xinhua) -- The Ministry of Commerce announced Friday that it will start investigating exports of solar-grade polysilicon, a material used in solar equipment manufacturing, by the United States and Republic of Korea (ROK).
An anti-dumping and countervailing investigation on U.S. exports and an anti-dumping probe on ROK exports have been initiated in response to requests by leading domestic polysilicon manufacturers, including LDK Solar Co., Ltd. and China Silicon Corp., the ministry said in a statement on its website.
The ministry said the investigation will be finished before July 20, 2013 but may be extended for another six months under special circumstances.
The two countries accounted for 60 percent of China's polysilicon imports last year. The China Photovoltaic Industry Alliance predicted that China's polysilicon imports will reach 80,000 tonnes in 2012, compared to 64,600 tonnes last year.
According to customs statistics, China imported a record 34,000 tonnes of polysilicon in the first five months of this year. Imports from ROK went up 12 percent year-on-year but with a price 62 percent lower, and those form the United States increased 94.5 percent with a price 67 percent lower.
The China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association said the imports, which are supposedly being sold at lower prices than locally produced polysilicon, have forced 80 percent of Chinese producers to halt production completely, while the rest struggle to remain in business.