China looks set to retaliate against EU moves to impede Chinese solar panel imports by launching an anti-dumping campaign into imports of polysilicon material from the EU.

China’s Ministry of Commerce is studying a request by four of its major polysilicon producers to launch anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations, reports Re-Charge.

Solar panels
State-owned news agency Xinhua cites Lu Jinbiao, deputy head of Jiangsu Zhongneng Polysilicon, as saying the ministry had received a request from his company and three others. Officials are now studying the application, he says.

It is the latest in a series of spats to afflict the solar industry this year, with China already stating in early August that it will start anti-dumping investigations into polysilicon – the key raw material in most solar panels – imported from the United States and South Korea.

Prior to that, the US had placed anti-dumping tariffs on Chinese solar panels.

Lu is reported to have said that without similar investigations on imports from the EU, the effects of the probe into American and Korean imports will be limited.

Chinese polysilicon makers claim that their market has been decimated by cheap imports from large producers overseas.

Product imported from the EU surged 31% to 9,300 tonnes in the first half of 2012, according to the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association, while the price fell 47.5%

A Chinese investigation into European polysilicon would primarily target Germany’s Wacker Chemie, the world’s second-largest producer.

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