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Solar firms warned on delisting from overseas stock markets (2)

By XIE YU (China Daily)

09:57, November 21, 2012

Suntech said on Thursday that it plans to cut two of its three production shifts in the United States and 50 jobs, blaming oversupply of solar panels in the global market and a tariff recently imposed by the US government.

Chinese solar companies have expanded aggressively in recent years.

Suntech's share price climbed to $88 in 2007, and LDK saw its price rise to more than $73 by 2009.

The installed capacity of solar power in China increased over the past decade, from 45,000 kW to around 3 million kW by the end of 2011.

The country has become the world's biggest solar equipment producer, accounting for more than 70 percent of global solar module output, with 90 percent of these made for export.

However, since the price of polysilicon dived in 2009, and the EU started cutting subsidies to the solar industry in 2011, Chinese solar producers have seen their profits slide, leaving excess production capacity across the industry.

The situation worsened in May after the US decided to impose heavy tariffs on Chinese-made solar panels, claiming that Chinese companies were dumping their products on the market. The European Union may also adopt similar duties later this year.

"These are tough times for the Chinese solar industry. Most companies are trying to cut costs by upgrading their technology, slash their payrolls or reduce output," said Zhao Yuwen, director of the photovoltaic special committee of the Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association.

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