EU lowers Chinese PV import volume

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The EU Commission in Brussels has apparently not only reduced the minimum import prices for crystalline solar modules from €0.56 ($0.77) to €0.53 per watt, but also the import volumes that can be imported at the fixed prices to Europe, pv magazine has learned from industry sources.

The European Commission’s decision, which is understood to have gone into effect April 1, followed publication of the most recent European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) report on market developments, which lowered its PV installation forecast this year from 11.5 GW to about 9.6 GW. As a consequence, the Commission has now reduced the volume of imports by about the reduced percentage of the market’s volume – from 7 to 5.8 GW, according to a source familiar with the proceedings.

EU Trade spokesperson John Clancy declined to comment on the matter directly but in a statement to pv magazine said: "As part of the agreement of the undertaking from August 2013, the development of the minimum price would be reviewed every three months and the import volume every year according to market developments of international spot prices and consumption in the Union respectively."

The level of installed capacity in Europe last year was much lower than in 2012. According to EPIA data, installed capacity fell from 17.6 to around 10 GW in the period.

In China alone installed PV capacity in 2013 reached about 11.3 GW — more than in the whole of Europe. Chinese magazine Ecns.cn, however, has reported that China’s exports of crystalline photovoltaic products fell sharply in the wake of the trade dispute with the EU. Revenue from exported solar cells and solar modules to Europe declined last year by 62 percent to $3.7 billion, the magazine reported, citing figures from the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products, which also monitors the minimum prices and export volumes.

Translated by Edgar Meza