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The butterfly effect—EU’s ruling to stir solar development in the East Asia

published: 2013-04-12 17:38

According to EnergyTrend, a research division of TrendForce, the EU has entered the final stage of anti-dumping and countervailing investigation on China; though opinions differed among the European industries, it is highly possible that the two practices have taken place. Related industries indicated that since the solar industry in East Asia is still export-oriented, EU’s ruling will greatly affect the solar development in East Asia.

The EU has launched investigations from the wafer manufactures to the module ones, and the final ruling effects and tariff policy have become major concerns among the industry. If the EU imposes a punitive tariff on these products, there might be significant shifts in East Asia’s solar industry. According to EnergyTrend, in order to sustain their own interests, European EPC and PD manufacturers have opposed to the investigation. However, if punitive measures were put into practice, due to price, capacity, and quality, Korean module manufacturers may take advantage of the situation and set foot in the European market, becoming a strong rival to Chinese manufacturers. On the other hand, in order to spread risk, the Chinese industry has started to allocate capacity; in addition to contracts with local OEMs, due to cluster development, market potential, and transportation/production costs, Southeast Asia may become the future production base of Chinese manufacturers.

As for Taiwanese manufacturers, if EU’s investigation determines that there was sufficient evidence of dumping and subsidy, in the short term they may be able to benefit from the transferred orders and boost price and capacity. In the long term, however, things may be different. After China expands their overseas production capacity, their dependence on Taiwanese manufacturers may decrease; moreover, Korean and Southeast Asian manufacturers may also take advantage of this situation and expand their production, and the Taiwanese industry (mostly based on OEMs) may face considerable pressure. 

As for the spot market, product price in the Chinese market is still gradually declining. Polysilicon price was quoted between $130 RMB/kg-$140 RMB/kg. As for USD quotes, Multi c-Si wafer price has increased due to numerous orders; Mono c-Si wafer price stayed flat.

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