EU trade case: No agreement reached for now

Share

Negotiations between the European Commission and the Chinese Ministry of Commerce over the import of cheaper crystalline modules, cells and wafers seem to have come to a standstill as of midday today. The talks have failed to reach a conclusion according to an industry insider. The EC refused to comment on this to pv magazine.

The possibility of a compromise was looming until midday today. The Commission updated member states on the talks in midweek outlining its proposition to implement a maximum import ceiling of 7 GW on Chinese modules and a minimum module import price of €0.57/W (US$0.76/W).

Beijing had reportedly reached an agreement over the import ceiling for modules with the EU, but the import price became a touchy topic at today’s talks, leading negotiations to stall, pv magazine was told by industry sources. The Chinese delegation declined the minimum import price of €0.57/W and apparently decided to discontinue negotiations.

From the Chinese point of view, €0.57 is unacceptable since Asian and European manufacturers who buy cells from Asia already offer prices far more affordable, according to insider information. Hence Beijing pushed for €0.55/W. Sources close to the talks told pv magazine the EU made clear it is unwilling to compromise on a lower price. This led to the Chinese delegation halting negotiations for now. As a result it appears the import ceiling compromise of 7 GW is also off the table.

The Chinese delegation will discuss their strategy on Sunday, pv magazine learned. Whether or not a compromise will be reached by August 5 remains to be seen.

Translated and edited by Shamsiah Ali-Oettinger