US sets China solar dumping margins

Updated: 2014-07-28 11:36

By Amy He in New York (China Daily USA)

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Analysts said the US Commerce Department's rule that set preliminary dumping margins on imported solar products from China will most likely further slow down solar imports from the country.

The US Commerce Department ruled on July 25 that solar products from the Chinese mainland and Taiwan are being sold too cheaply in the US, and told US Customs to require cash deposits for the products from Chinese companies upon import.

The department said that certain solar products from the Chinese mainland and Taiwan have been sold in the US at dumping margins between 26.33 percent to 58.87 percent, and 27.59 to 44.18 percent, respectively.

US Customers and Border Protection will require cash deposits ranging from 10.74 percent to 165.04 percent for photovoltaic products coming from the Chinese mainland and Taiwan.

This will most likely further slow down solar imports from China, which already has been happening since the Commerce department's last decision on countervailing duties in June, analysts said.

The Commerce department determined last month that the Chinese government gave unfair subsidies to solar product manufacturers, and it imposed new tariffs of up to 35.21 percent on imports.

"We already saw a slowdown in shipment into the US from Chinese producers, and part of that is that they were waiting to see what the final duties would be, so they can plan accordingly and price accordingly," said Michael Barker, senior analyst at NPD Solarbuzz.

"One of the major issues with these investigations is that until it's finalized, it creates a lot of uncertainty in terms of what the final charges will be. So it makes it hard to ship products when you don't actually know how you need to adjust your pricing to account for these types of things," he said.

Shayle Kann, senior vice-president of research at GTM Research, said that the decision limits the options of Chinese suppliers. "From the perspective of China, this [decision] solidifies that more than changes it in any huge way, because the prevailing countervailing margins were already high enough that it was prohibitive for a lot of manufacturers to ship into the US under those margins," he said.

The countervailing and anti-dumping decisions came after the US arm of Germany-based solar manufacturer SolarWorld AG claimed in a petition that Chinese mainland manufacturers were avoiding duties by taking the production of cells used in solar panels to Taiwan, and flooding the US market with cheap goods, harming competitiveness for US companies.

China's Ministry of Commerce has reiterated its calls for the US to handle solar trade disputes fairly, and work with China to maintain a free, open and just trade environment, according to Xinhua News Agency.

(China Daily USA 07/28/2014 page2)