Trade Wars: EU Sees Last of Cheap Chinese Modules

IHS Report: Antidumping Tariffs Raise Prices

El Segundo, Calif. (July 22, 2013)—The European Union’s antidumping tariffs are spurring an increase in prices for Chinese solar modules, marking the end of a period when available inexpensive photovoltaic (PV) devices enabled fast growth of installations in the region.

After declining for 48 months since the first quarter of 2009, with a seasonal uptick in February 2013) , average pricing for Chinese crystal polysilicon modules in Europe rose by 4 percent in June to 0.54 euros, up from 0.52 euros in May, according to a new report, entitled “PV Price Tracker—Modules” from information and analytics provider IHS (NYSE: IHS). Pricing is expected to continue climbing in July and then again in September, with the average increasing to 0.55 euros by the end of that month.

“With the plan to reduce government subsidies in Germany starting in April 2012, low-cost PV modules from China took over as the engine of growth in the European solar market, enabling the continued expansion of installations,” said Dr. Henning Wicht, senior director of solar research for IHS. “However, the era of low-cost Chinese modules is now over, as prices have risen due to the EU Commission’s implementation of preliminary antidumping tariffs. This will have a negative impact on solar installations, and is likely to cause many companies engaged in the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of solar systems to go out of business this year.”

The EU Commission imposed the tariffs on June 5. The duties of 11.8 percent correspond to a net value of 0.05 to 0.055 euros per watt. This additional cost has translated directly into an increase in prices for buyers.  Read more

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