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  • Friday, October 12, 2012


    Breaking News: Final Commerce Determination on Chinese Solar Cell Tariffs; The legal wrangling of the U.S. solar trade war is coming to an end. What is the aftermath?

    Eric Wesoff, October 10, 2012 (Greentech Media)

    “…[T]he Department of Commerce issued its final determinations on the extent of the countervailing duties and anti-dumping duties against imports of billions of dollars of solar cells from China…The effective rate on Suntech has gone up a few percentage points, down four percent for Yingli and Canadian Solar with Trina down 13 percentage points from the preliminary numbers…Commerce recommended anti-subsidy duty percentages of 14.78 percent for imports made by Suntech, 15.97 percent Trina Solar and 15.24 percent for all other Chinese manufacturers…

    “The petitioner for these investigations is SolarWorld Industries America, part of a German firm with operations in Oregon…[T]he bottom line according to an analysis by GTM Research, is that the tariffs will have minimal imact on the price of solar in the U.S. It is also unlikely that SolarWorld's tenuous competitive position will be improved by the tariffs imposed on Chinese companies. SolarWorld's most recent earnings call indicated high costs, low margins, and difficult losses and debt. Another outcome is a trade war in the other direction with China putting a tariff on polysilicon from the U.S. along with the EU imposing tariffs on Chinese solar panels.”

    “GTM Research used Trina Solar as a case study and asked -- what are the cost and price impacts going forward? …[Trina expected a module cost] around $0.78 per watt. For U.S. shipments, we expect that 100 percent of Trina’s U.S.-bound cells will be obtained via tolling from Taiwan…[imposing an additional] $0.08 per watt and a cost impact of 11 percent…[for] a U.S. ASP of $0.86 per watt, which is still 6 percent below the Q1 ASP.

    “Though tolling cells through Taiwan does impose a slight cost increase on manufacturers, it does not prohibit them from pricing modules well below their domestic competitors…[W]e expect pricing to continue falling over the course of the year, both globally and in the U.S…Next month the ITC will announce its final decision on whether to lock the tariffs into place…”


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