In view of the foregoing, we find that the subject imports did not have the effect of depressing prices or preventing price increases for the domestic like product that would otherwise have occurred to a significant degree. While there was mixed underselling and some confirmed lost sales, the domestic industry gained or maintained market share throughout the POI. Accordingly, we do not find that the subject imports caused significant price effects.
During a period of overall falling demand, the domestic industry increased its production and shipments throughout the POI, and its market share and employment were higher at the conclusion of the POI than at its beginning. By contrast, the industry’s financial results declined, most notably during 2016 when sales revenues fell more quickly than costs and remained poor in interim 2017 when average unit sales values remained well below those earlier in the period. As we explained above, however, the price declines that began in 2015 and accelerated in 2016 were not due to subject imports. Consequently, the decline in the industry’s financial performance during the latter portion of the POI, when its shipments and market share were rising or essentially stable was also not a function of the subject imports.
In view of the foregoing, we find that subject imports have not had a significant impact on the domestic industry.
As stated above, the record does not indicate that there has been a significant rate of increase of the volume or market penetration of imports of the subject merchandise during the POI. Nor are substantially increased imports likely in the imminent future in light of the lack of existing excess capacity with which to increase production, the likely growth and availability of other export markets, lack of growth in inventories, and lack of potential for product shifting.
Additionally, in light of the experience during the POI, any potential increase in subject import volume is unlikely to cause any appreciable decline in the market share of the domestic industry given that increases in subject import volumes came at the expense of nonsubject imports.
We found in section V.E. above that during the POI the domestic industry increased output and shipments, but experienced declines in financial performance. We further found that the declines in financial performance were not a result of the subject imports. In light of our findings that there is not likely to be a significant increase in subject import volume during the imminent future that will result in an appreciable decline in the domestic industry’s market share and that subject imports will not likely have significant price effects, the record does not indicate a probability that material injury by reason of subject imports is imminent.
Some purchasers reported that contracts are usually signed in the last quarter of the preceding year, but that agreements for 2018 had stalled. U.S. purchasers *** reported that U.S. producers were not willing to negotiate agreements or provide quotes during the usual fourth quarter negotiation period.
Purchaser *** also reported that U.S. producers prioritize contracts with purchasers that buy higher grades of silicon metal, such as polysilicon producers.
“When we place our orders for silicon, we have no knowledge of where the origin of the material might be coming from. For instance, our annual contract with FerroGlobe, they could supply us material from their plant outside of U.S., such as France, Spain, and South Africa, which they have done. All we want is diversity in supply with minimum of two suppliers.