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Trina Solar CEO Expects Panel Prices to Increase in Second Half

Trina Solar Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Jifan Gao said he expects panel prices to increase in the second half of this year after the European Union agreed to not impose punitive tariffs on shipments from China.

“The European market will be stabilized, while emerging markets will continue to grow,” Gao said in an interview while attending a conference organized by the World Economic Forum in the Chinese city of Dalian. “This year, good companies will progress in recovery and weak ones will be phased out.”

China agreed in July to curb shipments of solar panels to the EU to avoid tariffs, with the China New Energy Chamber of Commerce saying the deal would allow Chinese companies to continue exports and keep a “reasonable” share of the market. Sales of Chinese solar panels to Japan, the U.S. and India increased in the first half as shipments declined to Europe, which buys about half of the exports.

“The settlement of the EU investigation is not ideal but reasonable,” Gao said yesterday. Trina, China’s third-biggest panel maker, last month raised its forecast for 2013 annual shipments to 2.3-2.4 gigawatts from an earlier 2-2.1 gigawatts.

Gao also reiterated that he expects the Changzhou-based company to return to profit in the second half of this year. Trina in August reported a second-quarter net loss of $33.7 million, narrowing from $63.7 million a year earlier.

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