EH Smith


Minimum Import Pricing To Increase

30 March 2015
Chinese Solar Panel Costs To Rise From 1st April Due To EU Commission Statute

From 1st April, the Minimum Import Price (MIP) on Chinese solar panels will increase to €0.56/Wp from €0.52/Wp. The increase in threshold has come because of the pressure that the Euro has faced against both sterling and the U.S. dollar. Most Asian manufacturers buy their components in dollars and as the Euro has weakened, the price of these components has risen. Selling the finished panels in Euros into the EU market has put additional strain on profits and pricing, as Euros have been worth less than before.

Meanwhile in the UK, we have seen panel prices tumble because of the performance of the Euro versus the pound. On 1st January 2015, the exchange rate was £1 = €1.28 but by the 11th March that had lurched to £1 = €1.41, a 10% decrease in value.

In order to ensure that Chinese manufacturers don't have an unfair selling advantage against their European competitors, the EU Commission has taken the decision to raise MIP. However, this does leave the door wide open for non-Chinese, low cost based 'manufacturers' to gain a foothold in an increasingly competitive market. Until there is tighter regulation on OEM manufacturing, companies based outside of China will not have the same restriction placed on them and will be able to sell their products across Europe for lower prices than the Chinese and Europeans.

Three Chinese solar manufacturers, Renesola, Canadian Solar and ET Solar, are currently being investigated for breaching EU rules on MIP. All three deny the claim.

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