Hareon Solar Technology Co. (600401) led a rally for Chinese solar companies on speculation the U.S. and China are seeking to resolve a dispute over trade in solar-energy equipment that could lead to soaring tariffs.
Hareon, a Chinese solar module maker based in eastern Jiangsu province, jumped by the 10 percent daily limit to 8.02 yuan at 9:45 a.m. local time, adding to a 39 percent rally this year. Shanghai Chaori Solar Energy Science & Technology Co. advanced 3.1 percent to 3.61 yuan. Zhejiang Sunflower Light Energy Science & Technology Co. increased 3 percent to 9.68 yuan. The Shanghai Composite Index (SHCOMP) retreated 0.2 percent.
The Obama administration is engaged in talks with China and the European Union, according to people familiar with the discussions. The preliminary negotiations focus on setting a quota on Chinese exports and a minimum price for solar-energy equipment, in exchange for suspending U.S. duties on the goods, according to two people familiar with the U.S. position who asked not to be identified to discuss private discussions.
“If trade talks are successful, it would give Chinese solar companies a chance for a breather,” Xifeng Pan, an analyst at Northeast Securities Co., said in a phone interview in Shanghai. “It will be bad if both U.S. and Europe impose regulations on Chinese companies. If there’s an agreement, at least the impact is reduced and not so abrupt.”
The U.S. began a probe against Chinese manufacturers in 2011 and the EU in September 2012 after falling solar equipment prices led to the collapse of companies including Fremont, California-based Solyndra LLC. The EU plans to levy tariffs of as much as 67.9 percent on solar panels from China, with the measures to be announced by June 6, a commerce official from the bloc, who asked not to be identified, said this month. China responded by starting probes against the U.S. in July last year and the EU in November to determine if producers of polysilicon from those regions were dumping the material.
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