Stocks of solar energy-related stocks in South Korea traded sharply lower Monday on concerns that the United States may take safeguard measures against solar panels imported from China and other countries, analysts said.
OCI, South Korea's top producer of polysilicon, had sunk 5.16 percent to 101,000 won ($89) on the Seoul bourse as of 9:55 a.m., and No. 2 player Hanwha Chemical Corp. was 6.6 percent down at 33,250 won.
Polysilicon is an essential raw material for solar cells to convert sunlight into electricity.
On Friday, the International Trade Commission, a US trade commission, said low-cost foreign solar panels have caused serious damage to American firms, raising the chance that the Donald Trump administration may impose tariffs.
"The ITC is expected to recommend a remedy to President Donald Trump by early November," said Yoon Sung-no, an analyst at Daishin Securities. "In that case, it could double the price of solar panels from abroad."
Industry sources said demand for imported solar panels and modules will drop sharply, which will have a negative effect on Hanwha Chemical and others.
OCI and Hanwha Chemical have been expanding their businesses to meet rising demand for solar panels and modules. (Yonhap)