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In reporting first-half year financial results, Dow Corning noted that "polysilicon prices remain depressed" due to overcapacity within the polycrystalline silicon markets, while "the economic and political uncertainty surrounding the solar industry" remained challenging.
Dow Coring reported that overall sales were down 5% in the first six months of 2012, compared to the same period a year ago, while falling prices, especially for polysilicon which suffered a 48% decline in net income. Sales overall reached US$3.09 billion and net income reached US$192 million.
“Protecting our competitive cost position at both Dow Corning and Hemlock Semiconductor remains essential to our long-term success and we continue to aggressively pursue opportunities to increase efficiency and reduce costs in our operations,” said Dow Corning’s executive vice president and chief financial officer J. Donald Sheets in a statement and reiterating comments made on cost reduction efforts in the previous quarter.
Hemlock and other major polysilcion producers outside of China are concerned about a trade war between the US and China getting out of control, which could lead to punitive duties on imported polysilicon into China, despite many Tier 1 Chinese PV manufacturers depending on high-quality poly for higher performance modules, predominantly supplied by companies outside of China.