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Officials seek talks with EU over solar trade probe

By Liu Yiyu  (China Daily)

13:40, August 23, 2012

The European Commission is likely to launch an anti-dumping investigation against China's solar industry, the China New Energy Chamber of Commerce said on Wednesday as it called for dialogue to settle the dispute.

"The aftermath of Europe's investigation once launched will be much more severe than the one initiated by the US," said Liu Hanyuan, vice-president of the chamber, which represents China's private sector in the field of new energy.

Europe is China's largest solar market, and accounts for about 70 percent of the global market.

"Meanwhile, China is still importing key equipment for solar-product manufacturing from Germany, as well as polysilicon, a key material in the photovoltaic industry," Liu said.

China imported 40,000 tons of polysilicon in the first half of the year, an increase of 34 percent and a new high, according to latest figures from the General Administration of Customs.

Germany accounts for 20 percent of the imports. Wacker Chemie AG, the Germany-based polysilicon maker and the world's second-largest, is opposing the filing, which seeks import tariffs on solar goods from China.

"We are convinced that protectionist measures will not help the domestic solar industry, but rather impair the photovoltaic technology's future prospects," the company said in a statement.

China is Wacker Chemie's second-largest market, representing about 20 percent of its global sales in 2011.

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