Jump in imports of Thai silicon stirs questions

Apr 12, 2012 | 12:29 PM | Suzy Waite

Tags  silicon, Thailand shipments, China shipments, anti-dumping duties, U.S. imports, International Trade Commission, Globe Specialty Metals, Suzy Waite

NEW YORK — The recent surge in U.S. silicon imports from Thailand has sparked questions on the material’s origin, with traders claiming it could be Chinese material that is being rebagged to avoid anti-dumping duties rather than solely due to increased Thai production.

Imports from Thailand, not a typical supplier to the U.S. market, more than tripled in January to 1,813 tonnes from 520 tonnes in December after zero shipments were logged in the preceding two months, according to data from the International Trade Commission.

Based on ITC data, it marks the highest import level from the country in at least 12 years.

The jump in imports, coupled with excess domestic supply, has led U.S. free-market silicon prices to drop an average of 4.1 percent over the past two weeks to $1.28 to $1.32 per pound from $1.34 to $1.37 previously (AMM, April 3) and nearly 12 percent below the early January range of $1.45 to $1.50 per pound.....

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