The Ministry of Trade and Integration of Kazakhstan plans to defend the interests of producers and exporters of Kazakhstani silicon to the United States. This was stated by Trade Minister Bakhyt Sultanov on August 20.
In late June, American silicon producers Globe Specialty Metals, Inc. and Mississippi Silicon LLC filed a petition to impose anti-dumping duties on products from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland and Malaysia. Kazakhstan was also included among those listed as claims surfaced that the Kazakhstani silicon imports were being unfairly subsidized. In retaliation, a request was made to investigate countervailing duties on Kazakhstani silicon materials imported into the US.
In mid-August, it became known that the US International Trade Commission approved an anti-dumping investigation against the import of silicon material from four countries, including Kazakhstan. Minister of Trade and Integration of Kazakhstan Bakhyt Sultanov said on Thursday that his department is involved in the process.
“Indeed, on July 20 we were notified by the US Department of Commerce that after considering the petition from American silicon companies, a compensatory investigation was initiated against imported silicon from Kazakhstan. We immediately got involved in the process and we are currently registered there as an interested party. At the moment we are working on preparing responses to the official standard questionnaire. We will make every effort to protect the interests of our entrepreneurs,” Sultanov stated.
Previously, it was reported that to determine the size of the countervailing duty for Kazakhstan, the US commission would consider eight subsidy programs under which Kazakhstan could be supporting its silicon producers.
According to the minister, last year Kazakhstani producers exported $24 million worth of silicon, of which exports to the US accounted for $10 million, or 40%. In 2018, silicon exports from Kazakhstan to the US amounted to $6 million in value. This year, due to a decrease in demand, Kazakhstan supplied only 345 tons of silicon to the US for a total export value of $518,100 at an average price of $1,500 per ton. Last year, the average price was $1,700 per ton.
This spring the Karaganda silicon plant halted operations again with officials blaming the shutdown on the plunge in global silicon prices; experts have conflicting opinions on this.