China to investigate EU solar product imports

China's Ministry of Commerce (MOF) has issued a statement declaring that it will begin an anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigation into imports of solar-grade polysilicon from the European Union (EU).

The investigation is the latest in a series of disputes over international trade of solar products, including similar investigations issued by the MOF in July this year into imports of solar-grade polysilicon from South Korea and the US.

In the MOF’s statement released yesterday, it said: “As prescribed in both the Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on Anti-dumping and the Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on Countervailing, Ministry of Commerce will start the investigations on dumping and subsidy of the imports from the EU, as well as the injury to solar-grade polysilicon industry in China, then make an adjudication under state law”.

The move from China follows the European Commission’s decision, in September 2012, to launch its own anti-dumping investigation into imports of solar panels from China, after an industry association claimed, in a complaint lodged on July 25 2012, that solar panels and their key components imported from China enter the European market at prices below market value.

The complaint showed possible price dumping by the exporting producers on the EU market and a possible link between the imports and the damage suffered by the industry.

According to recent reports, the MOF previously called on the EU to work together to create the conditions for cooperation and mutual development of the solar industries.

In 2011, China exported solar panels and their key components worth around €21bn (£16.8bn) to the EU. China is the world’s largest producer of solar panels, with around 65% of the market and the EU is China’s main export market, accounting for around 80% of all Chinese export sales.

Leigh Stringer

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