Canadian Solar expects retroactive EU duties on solar imports

Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:35pm EDT
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By Swetha Gopinath

(Reuters) - Canadian Solar Inc (CSIQ.O: Quote) reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss and said retroactive duties on China-made solar products by the European Commission could reverse a pick-up in demand for its products in the continent.

The stock of the company, most of whose manufacturing operations are in China, fell 12 percent to a two-month low of $3.28 on the Nasdaq on Monday.

Shares of Yingli Green Energy Holding Co Ltd (YGE.N: Quote), LDK Solar Co Ltd LDK.N and Jinkosolar Holding Co Ltd (JKS.N: Quote) also fell.

"European demand has improved lately, but has the potential to become choppy due to the strong hints that the European Commission may consider implementation of retroactive duties," Canadian Solar CEO Shawn Qu said on a conference call.

The Guelph, Ontario-based company said Europe might slip to become its third-biggest market from being the biggest currently. The continent contributed about 41 percent to Canadian Solar's fourth-quarter net revenue.

The European Commission in September launched an investigation into whether Chinese solar panels were being dumped in EU markets. It started studying allegations of illegal subsidies in November.

The Commission has until June 6 to impose provisional duties on the imports if it believes they are justified. The deadline for imposing definitive duties, which would require a vote by member states, is December 5.

China, which has denied any wrongdoing, may be planning its own retaliation. Beijing is investigating whether U.S., European and South Korean imports of polysilicon, a key component in solar panels, breached anti-subsidy rules.   Continued...