EU and China reach amicable agreement on solar imports

Greentech Lead Asia: The anti-dumping trade dispute between the European Union and China has come to an end as Chinese solar panel exporters agreed to sell their products at a minimum price in the EU market.

Since the EU announced 47 percent anti-dumping duties on Chinese solar panels in June this year, both EU and China have been engaged in heated talks over the issue. The new duty was to come into effect in August. EU manufacturers alleged that Chinese products are selling at below price in the market and harming the European solar panel industry.

The settlement was announced by the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products to the EU Trade Commissioner. China Chamber of Commerce called the negotiation arduous and meticulous, according to an Associated Press report.

A statement from the Chamber said the price promise represents the majority will of Chinese companies and would allow Chinese manufacturers to continue to export their products to Europe and retain fair market shares.

“China’s solar panels industry is always committed to maintaining a fair international trade environment,” the statement said. “It opposes trade protectionism and supports resolving disputes through negotiations.”

The settlement comes days after China announced an anti-dumping probe into wine exports from Europe, and there were reports that China may extend the probe into other industry segments as well.

Beijing recently also slapped hefty duties on imports of U.S. and South Korean solar-grade polysilicon. That ranges from 53.3 to 57 percent on U.S. polysilicon and 2.4 percent to 48.7 percent on South Korean exports.

China had warned the EU about the consequences of trade protectionism.  When the dispute began in June, Beijing also succeeded in garnering support from German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the most powerful EU leader.

Solar industry, which is facing tough challenges due to price drop and over supply, is not likely to get immediate relief from the trade wars, as per the latest market reports.

Of late China, among other countries, is engaged in a solar trade dispute with India. The petition was filed by a few Indian manufacturers seeking anti-dumping duties on import of solar PV cells and modules from the US, China, Taiwan and Malaysia. The case was likely to be settled in August. However, latest reports suggest that solar manufacturers in India are now planning to drag other countries including Europe and Japan into the case.

editor@greentechlead.com