The European Commission published a decision to initiate a new phase of investigation into its Minimum Import Price (MIP) agreement with China. EU ProSun, led by SolarWorld, claimed the price is unsuitable due to sources of the spot prices.
PV Tech reports that EU ProSun planned to lodge a complaint against the functioning of the negotiated agreement with Chinese PV module manufacturers. The price agreement is benchmarked Bloomberg spot prices, while EU ProSun claimed that Chinese companies have been allegedly rushed to register prices since the MIP was established. As the Bloomberg price index relies on PV module manufacturers’ reporting, the increased diligence of Chinese firms to register their sales prices with Bloomberg would increase the weighting of Chinese firms in the price index. The Bloomberg spot prices would be reduced because spot prices of Chinese manufacturers are usually lower than their rivals’. As a result, the price index referred for the MIP would be reduced as well.
EU ProSun requested for a review to the unreliable price indexes. According to PV Tech, the European Commission decided to initiate the review in its official register and it has 15 months to conclude the new phase of investigation. The current MIP agreement would expire by December 2015.
As Bloomberg Business reports, the Commission has stated a review into a minimum import price that is adjusted quarterly on the basis of international spot prices for solar panels including Chinese prices "as reported by the Bloomberg database."
“The Bloomberg database contains a price series that excludes Chinese prices, for which historical data is available,” the commission said. “Therefore, subject to the appropriate procedures, it would be technically possible to use spot prices excluding Chinese prices, as reported by the Bloomberg database, as a benchmark.”
Alleged MIP violation
EU ProSun had claimed that almost 30% of Chinese PV imports circumvent the agreed tariffs by shipping PV products through third-party countries. Accordingly, the SolarWorld-led association asked the European Commission to review the MIP agreement set between China and the EU. Furthermore, EU ProSun applied for the “anti-circumvention” investigation against Chinese PV imports.
As the current MIP agreement will expire in seven months, EU ProSun hopes to convince the Commission of expanding it until the new decision is published. The investigation requires 15 months to conduct.