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Taiwan solar firms may benefit from China's dumping woes: report

2012/09/13 16:53:45

Taipei, Sept. 13 (CNA) Taiwan's solar product manufacturers are likely to benefit from an anti-dumping probe by the European Union into their Chinese counterparts since Europe has started shifting orders from China to Taiwan, a research report said Thursday.

According to the report released by the Taiwan-based research institute TrendForce, Taiwan's solar energy sector has seen its business in Europe pick up since the EU launched the anti-dumping investigation into Chinese exporters.

The EU announced the probe earlier this month after a group of companies from Germany, Italy and Spain filed a claim, accusing Chinese solar panel manufacturers of dumping their products in the EU. In response, China urged the EU to resolve the disputes by means of negotiations.

Amid fears over possible anti-dumping tariffs on Chinese solar energy products, European buyers are expected to transfer their orders from Chinese firms to suppliers in other countries such as Taiwan, the TrendForce report said.

Taiwanese firms may receive more orders in the fourth quarter of this year and in the first quarter of next year, which would boost their capacity utilization rates, the report said.

However, the market outlook for the second quarter of 2013 and beyond will depend on global demand, the EU's initial decision and the Chinese firms' business strategies, it added.

The EU said it is scheduled to complete the investigation and issue a preliminary ruling on the anti-dumping case in nine months. The EU is expected to announce a final decision on the case within six months of the initial ruling.

Based on the EU’s schedule, the ongoing probe may be completed in three to six months, the TrendForce report said, citing market sources.

In reaction to the EU's move, some Chinese importers have come up with measures such as lowering costs and planning to set up production bases in other countries, according to the report.

The Chinese firms are considering Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe and the Americas as possible destinations for investment relocation, but Taiwan is not on their list of preferences, TrendForce said.

In May, the U.S. Commerce Department imposed temporary anti-dumping tariffs of between 31 percent and 250 percent on Chinese solar cell imports in an initial ruling, after an investigation. The final ruling is expected in two months.

(By Maranda Hsu and Frances Huang)
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