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South Korea losing its position as largest silicon importer to China


According to the statistics of the General Administration of Customs of China, the country has imported polysilicon of US $2.04 billion, a sharp increase of 114% YoY, a total of 114,000 tons, up 13.4% YoY. Germany, Malaysia, Japan and China Taiwan accounted for 90% of the total imports of polysilicon.

South Korea used to be the largest silicon importer to China in 2017, however, it fell to current sixth place, with the import volume of 4,096.3 tons in 2021, down 73.2% YoY, a new low. Such imports from South Korea have declined for five consecutive years.

The gradual decrease may result from the reduced supply of Korean silicon materials, due to the withdrawal of local company Hanwha from polycrystalline silicon business in 2021 and the shutdown and maintenance of silicon manufacturer OCI Power.

China also greatly increased their imports from Malaysia since Norwegian solar product manufacturer Renewable Energy Corporation (REC) has increased their capacity in Malaysia, which partially replaced the share of China’s import from South Korea.


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