Tue, Jul 29, 2014 - Page 14 News List

Solar firms set to diversify as tough US duties loom

ANTI-DUMPING:With tariffs likely to affect exports to the third-largest solar market, solar firms said they would need to find new markets and broaden their client base

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Taiwanese solar companies yesterday said they would seek to expand their markets beyond the US, as they face the prospect of heavy duties in the world’s third-largest solar market.

Companies including Neo Solar Power Corp (新日光), Motech Industries Inc (茂迪) and E-Ton Solar Tech Co (益通) made the remarks after the US Department of Commerce on Friday last week announced anti-dumping tariffs on imports of solar panels, solar sells and solar modules from Taiwan, with Motech facing the heaviest duty of 44.18 percent.

“The company has been making efforts to explore new markets and to broaden its client base to minimize the risk of focusing on a single market,” Motech said in a statement to the Taiwan Stock yesterday. “The proposed duty has no significant impact on the company’s business, as it is not yet final.”

Motech said it generated NT$2.27 billion (US$76 million) in direct revenue from the US last year, accounting for 10.63 percent of the company’s total sales of NT$21.35 billion last year. However, US sales contribution fell to 2.4 percent, or NT$270 million, in the first six months of this year, it said.

The company did not provide figures about indirect shipments to the US market.

Solar cell supplier Gintech Energy Corp (昱晶) may have to pay tariffs of 27.59 percent, while other firms may have to pay 35.89 percent, according to the US’ preliminary ruling. A final decision is expected in December.

The announcement sent the shares of Motech, Gintech and Neo Solar plunging by 6.92 percent, 6.9 percent and 6.88 percent to NT$44.40, NT$29 and NT$33.15 yesterday.

To cope with the potential anti-dumping penalty, solar cell maker Danen Technology Corp (達能) yesterday said in a stock exchange filing that it would continue to focus on producing highly efficient solar cells and diversifying its customer base.

Danen expects the penalty to have a minimal impact on its business, with global solar installation forecast to grow to between 42 gigawatts and 45 gigawatts.

Green Energy Technology Inc (綠能), the nation’s top solar wafer maker, said it did not rule out building new plants overseas to get closer to its customers.

“Green Energy’s production base should be closer to its end markets,” the company said in a statement. Green Energy also intends to expand its share in emerging markets, it said.

The company said it was not on the US government’s short list of companies which might be affected by anti-dumping levies, because it had not shipped any products directly to the US market over the past two-and-a-half years.

Nonetheless, its shares nose-dived 6.92 percent to NT$25.40 yesterday.

Giga Solar Materials Corp (碩禾), a photovoltaic conductive paste maker who was also not on the list, saw its stock price drop 6.97 percent to NT$601.

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