China Government Asked to Probe EU Solar Dumping, Xinhua Says

China’s Ministry of Commerce is looking into a request to investigate polysilicon dumping by German manufacturers after the country’s biggest maker, Solarworld AG (SWV), pushed for a similar European Union probe.

Four Chinese solar companies, including New York-listed LDK Solar Co. (LDK), asked the government to start anti-dumping, anti- subsidy probes on polysilicon exported from the EU, the official Xinhua News Agency reported today, without saying where it got the information. The polysilicon, the raw material used for solar panels, mainly came from Germany and Italy to a lesser extent, with Munich-based Wacker Chemie AG (WCH) responsible for exporting the most, Xinhua said.

The Chinese complaint follows a push by about 25 European manufacturers led by Solarworld to get the European Commission to investigate whether Chinese rivals sold products at a loss in regional markets. China may take countermeasures if the European Commission acts on Solarworld’s filing, the China Daily newspaper reported on July 25, citing an unidentified commerce ministry official.

The U.S. has proposed anti-dumping duties on Chinese solar makers ranging from 31 percent to 250 percent after the Commerce Department in May ruled they sold products below costs.

Suntech Power (STP) Holdings Co., LDK, Trina Solar Ltd. (TSL) and GCL- Poly (3800) Energy Holdings Ltd. are China’s biggest solar makers.

Chinese companies accounted for about 68 percent of all solar panels last year compared with 40 percent in 2009, Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates. EU country companies produced about 12 percent of panels in 2011, down from 19 percent in 2009 while market share held by U.S. companies has dropped to 9 percent from 23 percent in the same period.

Prices for standard, polysilicon-based panels were 84 cents a watt at the end of July, down from $1.34 a year ago, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Chua Baizhen in Beijing at bchua14@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alexander Kwiatkowski at akwiatkowsk2@bloomberg.net

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