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Chinese firms issue joint statement on EU’s anti-dumping complaint (2)

(People's Daily Online)

15:58, July 31, 2012

Chinese makers issue joint statement

The consortium includes members from Germany, Italy, Spain, and some other E.U. countries, and is urging the European Commission to launch an anti-dumping investigation against Chinese solar manufacturers.

Under E.U. trade rules, the European Commission has 45 days to decide whether it will start a formal investigation, the China Securities Journal reported.

Li Junfeng, deputy director of the Energy Research Institute under the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said it is hard to guess whether the commission will launch the investigation.

Normally speaking, it will not decide until the dust settles on the U.S. anti-dumping and countervailing investigations into China’s solar products, which should be around September this year.

It is worth noting that the consortium is led by SolarWorld AG, Germany’s largest solar panel maker, one of whose subsidiaries filed a similar complaint in the United States, causing the U.S. Commerce Department to slap punitive tariffs of more than 30 percent on imported Chinese photovoltaic cells in May.

SolarWorld’s chief executive said that the complaint was filed simply to stop a disastrous price war.

Europe’s solar panel imports from China were 10 times higher in 2011 than they were five years ago, while the price of panels has been more than halved, according to data from Eurostat. SolarWorld’s revenue in Europe last year declined to 630 million euros from 895 million euros in 2009.

Just like how they responded to the U.S. investigations, major Chinese solar companies such as Yingli, Suntech, Trina, and Canadian Solar issued a joint statement on July 26 urging the European Commission to carefully consider the complaint.

As for the alleged “price war,” Chinese companies attributed the affordable prices of their products to cost reduction brought about by continued investment in research and development.

The statement stressed that the solar industry in China, which has a considerable advantage in producing goods on a large scale, is mainly producing modules, and the added value is about 0.2 to 0.3 U.S. dollars per watt. Given that the global average cost of solar power installation is about 2.5 to 3 U.S. dollars per watt, China only occupies 8 percent to 10 percent of the global solar value chain.

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