China to impose duties on US, S. Korean solar material

BEIJING, Beijing Shi - China is to impose provisional anti-dumping duties on imports of solar-grade polysilicon, a key raw material for solar panels, from the US and South Korea, the government said.

The move, detailed in announcements seen on the commerce ministry's website Friday, is the latest step in a long-running dispute between Washington and Beijing on the issue, and after the EU imposed anti-dumping duties on Chinese solar panels.

Duties on US imports will range from 53.3 to 57 per cent, and up to 48.7 per cent on purchases from South Korea, the ministry said.

An investigation found US and South Korea "dumped their products on the Chinese market and caused material harm to China's domestic solar industry", it said.

The probe was launched last year after the US imposed levies of up to 250 per cent on Chinese solar cells it said were being sold at artificially low prices. Beijing blasted the move as "protectionist".

It is one of a series of trade rows between China and the United States over a wide range of issues, from cars to electronic payments, that have on occasion had to be settled by the World Trade Organisation.

In June the EU imposed an average anti-dumping tariff of 11.8 per cent on solar panel imports from China, rising to more than 47 per cent next month if no deal is reached.

Beijing has since announced an investigation into wine imports from the EU, and the two are also embroiled in disputes over steel pipes and telecom equipment, among others.