WHEB Commentary

Tim Dieppe

Solar Trade War


Last night the US Department of Commerce announced anti-dumping tariffs of +31% against 59 Chinese solar manufacturers. Though this is a preliminary finding which is subject to change, it is much higher than expected and reflects the Department of Commerce’s view that these Chinese operators are dumping solar panels at less than fair value into the US market. Their proposal includes a 249.96% tariff on all other Chinese manufacturers and is retrospective for 90 days. The final ruling is due in November, but is unlikely to differ significantly from these proposals.

The question is what’s next? The US has now fired the first round in what looks like the start of a solar trade war. China has been considering bringing anti-dumping claims against US and Korean polysilicon manufacturers which now looks more than likely to happen. The chances of an all-out global solar trade war suddenly look very high. This is not what the industry needs just as there was a chance that lower pricing of solar panels could lead to a step up in demand. Higher prices in the US will slow the slide to unsubsidised demand in that country, though at only 6% of global demand it is likely to have limited impact globally. More worrying though is the likely Chinese response, and potentially an attempt by SolarWorld to get the European Union to impose their own antidumping tariffs – something that SolarWorld’s Chairman has already indicated he plans to do. At 70% of global demand, action by Europe really would matter.

Overall we see this as a further vindication of our cautious stance on solar stocks and encourages us to continue to watch from the sidelines to see how things develop.

Recent posts

  • Noisy signals at the end of the Age of Oil
  • The first quarter of 2020 is now assured a place in financial markets history
  • What does Covid-19 mean for sustainability?
  • Coronavirus Contagion: a Lockdown on Leverage?
  • From No 10 to BP – it’s all moving very fast
  • This year’s new killer
  • Seeing the bigger picture – Cooper Companies and myopia
  • What does 2020 hold for sustainable investing?
  • Politics playing catch-up on climate change
  • The great smog; London’s dirty air
  • Archive

  • May 2020 (1)
  • April 2020 (3)
  • March 2020 (1)
  • February 2020 (2)
  • January 2020 (1)
  • December 2019 (1)
  • November 2019 (2)
  • October 2019 (3)
  • September 2019 (1)
  • August 2019 (2)
  • July 2019 (3)
  • June 2019 (2)
  • May 2019 (3)
  • April 2019 (1)
  • March 2019 (1)
  • February 2019 (2)
  • January 2019 (3)
  • December 2018 (1)
  • November 2018 (2)
  • October 2018 (4)
  • September 2018 (2)
  • August 2018 (4)
  • July 2018 (1)
  • June 2018 (1)
  • May 2018 (1)
  • April 2018 (2)
  • March 2018 (2)
  • February 2018 (1)
  • January 2018 (1)
  • December 2017 (3)
  • November 2017 (1)
  • July 2017 (3)
  • June 2017 (1)
  • May 2017 (1)
  • April 2017 (1)
  • February 2017 (2)
  • November 2016 (1)
  • August 2016 (1)
  • July 2016 (1)
  • June 2016 (1)
  • May 2016 (1)
  • April 2016 (2)
  • February 2016 (1)
  • December 2015 (1)
  • November 2015 (3)
  • October 2015 (1)
  • September 2015 (1)
  • July 2015 (2)
  • April 2015 (2)
  • February 2015 (2)
  • December 2014 (2)
  • November 2014 (3)
  • October 2014 (4)
  • August 2014 (1)
  • July 2014 (3)
  • June 2014 (1)
  • April 2014 (2)
  • March 2014 (2)
  • February 2014 (3)
  • January 2014 (4)
  • December 2013 (4)
  • October 2013 (5)
  • September 2013 (3)
  • July 2013 (4)
  • June 2013 (2)
  • May 2013 (4)
  • April 2013 (2)
  • March 2013 (4)
  • February 2013 (6)
  • January 2013 (2)
  • December 2012 (3)
  • November 2012 (1)
  • October 2012 (4)
  • September 2012 (2)
  • August 2012 (1)
  • July 2012 (3)
  • June 2012 (3)
  • May 2012 (6)
  • April 2012 (4)
  • March 2012 (5)