Solar anti-dumping complaint unfair, says industry body
Updated: 2012-08-03 10:36
By Bao Chang (China Daily)
The anti-dumping complaint filed by European companies against Chinese solar panel makers is a move to maintain their dominance in the European market through the use of protectionist measures, a Chinese industry organization said.
European solar panel makers, led by Germany's Solarworld AG, filed a complaint to the European Commission last week, claiming that Chinese solar panel makers sell photovoltaic cells in the European Union market at a price below production costs and seeking to impose import tariffs on Chinese products.
The commission has 45 days to decide whether it will start an investigation into the charges.
"Chinese PV manufactures didn't dump products in the EU. The prices of exported solar panels were absolutely set by the market," Wang Guiqing, vice-director of the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products, said on Thursday.
"Chinese solar companies urge the EU Commission to make an unbiased decision in the trade remedy case, which involves huge sums and job numbers in the EU and in China," Wang said.
"The falling prices of Chinese photovoltaic cells resulted from a big drop of raw material prices in the international market in recent years," said Sun Guangbin, secretary-general of the chamber's solar energy and PV products branch.
Data from the chamber showed that polysilicon, a raw material used in solar panels, cost more than $400 a kilogram in the first half of 2008. However, due to the global financial crisis and oversupply, the price decreased to $20 to $30 a kg in July.
"In this case, the production costs dropped and Chinese products' export prices quickly followed that trend," Sun said.
"European companies want to keep their monopoly in the EU market by implementing trade protectionism," Sun added.
China has been promoting its solar panel industry in the global market. In 2011, the value of China's imports of polysilicon from Germany reached $764 million, accounting for 20 percent of the value of China's imports of products in that category. China's solar products trade with the EU helped create 300,000 jobs in Europe.
Ministry of Commerce spokesman Shen Danyang said that if the EU sets trade restrictions on Chinese solar panel products, that will certainly go against the interests of upstream and downstream solar panel industries in its home market.
Yingli Green Energy Holding Co Ltd, one of China's largest solar panel makers, also expressed strong opposition on Thursday to the European companies' allegations.
At a press conference, the company urged the EU Commission to reject the complaint and find a way to solve the problem through bilateral talks, avoiding the outbreak of a trade war.
In May, the US Department of Commerce ruled that China's solar panel makers were dumping goods and receiving unfair subsidies.