EC rejects calls to replace MIP pricing benchmark

The European Commission has rejected calls to replace the MIP pricing benchmark

The European Commission has rejected a request by EU ProSun to replace the pricing benchmark used to determine the minimum import price applied to Chinese solar products sold in the EU.

ProSun, the chief antagonist in long-running trade dispute between Europe and China, had been seeking to have the Bloomberg index changed because it claimed it did not accurately reflect the development of module pricing in recent years.

The body, led by German manufacturer SolarWorld, alleged that an increase in Chinese firms registering products with the Bloomberg index was pushing down spot prices and therefore the MIP.

But the commission said it was satisfied the benchmark remained representative of worldwide module pricing trends.

Although it noted that Chinese prices on the index were lower than the international average, their average has fallen no faster than the international average, the commission said.

“The existing benchmark therefore still fulfils its objective as set out in the measures in force. The Commission therefore intends to terminate this review,” a commission document on the case concluded.

“The Commission's explanation is absurd,” said Milan Nitzschke, president of EU ProSun and vice president at SolarWorld. “It is a statistical principle that one should not change the sample composition when considering an index.

“As a result, the Commission's proposal only shows that it is time to finally find a reasonable adjustment rule for the MIP and to get away from the link to the Bloomberg index. The development of the MIP has to take into account the real technical and cost developments, not a non-representative index,” said Nitzschke adding that reliable and predictable means of informing the MIP was required instead.

Efforts by PV Tech to obtain the method of calculation of the MIP in 2014 were blocked by the EC, which refused to satisfy a freedom of information request and rejected an appeal.

The ruling will come as a boost to parties seeking to have all trade measures on Chinese imports into Europe thrown out when the commission decides whether or not to review their scheduled expiry at the end of this year. The commission has until December to decide whether or not it will instigate a review, which would mean current measures remain in force for up to 15 months.  

James Watson, chief executive of trade body SolarPower Europe, said: “The decision by the European Commission is a step in the right direction. We hope this sensible approach will also apply to the duties and price undertaking due to expire in December 2015.”

Read Next

September 23, 2022
Solar accounted for half of all global power generating capacity added last year, with 182GW deployed, a 25% increase on 2020, according to a report from BloombergNEF (BNEF).
September 22, 2022
Wood Mackenzie has repeated warnings that module supply shortages are set to persist until the end of 2023.
September 19, 2022
Canadian Solar has announced a target of 10GWh of battery manufacturing capacity by the end of 2023, up from 2.5GWh today.
PV Tech Premium
September 16, 2022
Global shipping rates for freight containers are in “free fall” as supply outstrips demand following 18 months of exorbitant prices
September 13, 2022
JinkoSolar has signed two major polysilicon supply contracts worth nearly US$30 billion in the past two weeks as it looks to lock in supply.
September 12, 2022
Solar Module Super League (SMSL) member LONGi has released a new half-cut cell module version to its HiMO5 product range that has been designed specifically for the European market.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
September 27, 2022
15:30 AEST (UTC +10)
Solar Media Events
October 4, 2022
New York, USA
On-Demand Webinars, Solar Media Events
October 11, 2022
Virtual event
Upcoming Webinars
October 18, 2022
10am (EDT) / 4pm (CEST)