Misleading statements on Korean polysilicon imports into China

Monthly polysilicon imports from South Korea into China from January through July 2016 and 2017, respectively
Polysilicon imports from Korea into China in the first half of 2017 stagnated versus the first half of 2016 – Chart: Bernreuter Research

BusinessKorea reported on September 4 that polysilicon exports from South Korea in the second quarter of 2017 decreased by 25.5% versus Q2 2016, attributing the decline to political friction with China.

pv magazine countered with the opposite claim that Korean polysilicon imports into China in the second quarter of 2017 were 32% higher than in Q2 2016, but quoted a wrong number: The import value in Q2 2016 was not $200.2 million as stated, but $262.7 million – almost the same as the value of $263.4 million in Q2 2017, according to Chinese customs statistics.

In the seven months from January through July, however, the import value decreased from $599.8 million in 2016 by 3.5% to $578.7 million in 2017. The decline was due to lower prices as the import volume during these periods remained almost flat between 40,365 metric tons (MT) in 2016 and 40,129 MT in 2017. The chart above shows the monthly import values and volumes.

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