An article from PV Tech (LINK) provides a good summary of the latest import tariff news in the U.S. Go the linked article to review the details...
One section reviews the case quite succinctly. â€œFor Trina and Yingli, their old combined rates were 34.3% (Trina) and 39.72% (Yingli), while the new rates are 30.6% (Trina) and 21.7% (Yingli). The Chinese will be able to use solar cells made in China and import them to the US under the new rates, following this review,â€ said Shah in the research note. The majority of tier-one firms, including Canadian Solar, Jinko and ReneSola have had modest decreases in their combined rates from the 2012 case.""
This is good news for Trina and Yingli, and this should serve to bring pricing across the board down in the U.S. For the Canadian market, this is a positive in one sense because the pricing the U.S. has limited the Canadian market from importing any U.S. product to the pricing disparity between the 2 markets. If manufacturers can sell the same product in the U.S. for a lot more, Canada becomes an afterthought no doubt.
For other Chinese manufacturers, was a slight decrease in tariffs good news? On the contrary, this recent news comes as shockingly bad news.
Within the industry, the almost halving of Yingli's import tariffs was fully expected based. Trina also getting a decrease will ensure business as usual in the U.S. However, other Chinese manufacturers were fully expecting a similar decrease to their import tariff rates in the U.S. Clearly the powers that be didn't extrapolate from their review of Yingli's operations and share the wealth, so to speak.
What will the near-term impacts be for Canada?
On an incremental basis, it's a mixed bag. Yingli and Trina shoukld be applying some downwards pricing pressure in the U.S. with their Chinese product, but none of that product can be cost effectively imported into Canada due to the Canadian import tariff. More Chinese product manufactured outside of China will now be allocated for the U.S. market with this news, which may mean limited availability of product here for non-domestic panels from the big Chinese companies.
Net-net, increased pricing pressure in the U.S. could serve to moderate the prices we'll need to pay in Canada but the recent rise in the USD due to the Greek Crisis and a potential rate cut here in Canada will increase solar panel prices here in the near-term.
For purchases of FIT 3 supply, the advice we would give is it's going to be a rocky next 12 months, and this will be a time to be opportunistic - if you can find the right product at the right price, just do it, to use the expression.