China’s solar industry: a fine state of affairs

2011 was a rough year for China’s solar power manufacturing industry and has been seen to come home to roost in the recent round of 4th quarter result announcements. Gerry O’Kane has been sifting the figures and looking at developments in the solar market to asses their prospects.

March saw a flurry of news whipping around China’s solar sector, with most of the focus on the news of the United States Commerce Department’s decision to impose duties on Chinese solar panel imports.

But a report from Digitimes says Chinese customs’ figures show that the country’s polysilicon imports in February were up 62.6 percent on January and an incredible 129.6 percent over a year. While these figures reflect only one aspect of the wide-ranging, multi-product solar industry, they indicate a degree of disarray and which is also reflected in the financial results of China’s manufacturers.

The first official line from China on US import duties, ranging from 2.9 to 4.73 percent, was a surprisingly mild commentary published by the official New China News Agency saying the tariffs were “sensible” and a “result of compromise”. It reflects a wait-and-see approach from China’s top echelon who are showing signs of concern over the country’s manufacturing sector.

(Read the rest of the story plus company results analysis here.)

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