Taiwan’s second and third-biggest solar-cell makers gained in Taipei on expectations they may benefit after the U.S. imposed tariffs of as much as 250 percent on Chinese equipment.
Gintech Energy Corp. (3514), the second biggest, surged as much as 5.7 percent to NT$32.55, the highest intraday level since May 10, and traded at $31.55 as of 12:10 p.m. local time. Neo Solar Power Corp. (3576) gained as much as 3.5 percent before trading at NT$21.40. The benchmark Taiex Index declined 2.2 percent.
The U.S. Commerce Department yesterday ruled that Chinese companies sold silicon-based cells at prices below the cost of production and announced preliminary anti-dumping duties ranging from 31 percent to 250 percent, depending on the manufacturer. The department sided with companies including the U.S. unit of SolarWorld AG (SWV), which argued that Chinese producers benefit from government subsidies.
Chinese solar panel-makers such as Suntech Power Holdings Co. (STP:US) and Trina Solar Ltd. (TSL:US), which get 10 to 15 percent of their sales from the U.S., are likely to buy their cells from Taiwanese suppliers to circumvent the duty, said Charles Yonts, an alternative-energy analyst in Hong Kong at CLSA Ltd.
“The Taiwanese cell makers are the workaround,” Yonts said in an e-mail today. “Chinese panel brands can outsource cell manufacturing to Taiwan to avoid the wrath of U.S. customs.”
Suntech was told to pay 31.22 percent, Trina’s levies were set at 31.14 percent and 59 other Chinese companies were told to pay duties of 31.18 percent. All other Chinese producers received a rate of 249.96 percent.
LDK Solar Co., a Chinese maker of cells and panels based in Xinyu, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment sent by e-mail to its external public relations company.
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