EU-China deal could herald global PV revival: Wacker CEO

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The agreement between the EU and China to settle their long-running trade dispute could boost the global PV market, according to the CEO of German polysilicon manufacturer Wacker Chemie.

The two parties agreed on Saturday to set a minimum import price on Chinese PV modules entering the European market.

Rudolf Staudigl, CEO, Wacker said as the company released its quarterly results that if the deal ran its course the benefits would reach beyond Europe.

“Our chemical divisions performed well during the April-through-June period. In polysilicon, low price levels and trade-policy risks remain a challenge,” said Staudigl on Tuesday.

“A compromise has now been found in the solar dispute between the European Union and China. If this settlement is implemented, it could mark the start of another global photovoltaics upturn.”

It is hoped that the deal will conclude months of uncertainty once its details are released next week.

Finlay Colville, vice president with analysts NPD Solarbuzz told PV-Tech that the deal was not a “happy ending” and that the dispute was likely to continue for the foreseeable future.

Industry group EU ProSun has already declared that it will be taking the European Commission to court over the agreement with China. EU trade commissioner Karel De Gucht said it was the group's right to take legal action but they did not have a case to answer.

Wacker announced group sales were down 6% compared to the same period last year at €1.15 billion.

Wacker Polysilicon reported sales of €203.3 million (US$270 million) between April and June 2013, down 29% on the previous year.

The company reported that falling solar silicon prices, down one third compared to last year, were the principal reason for reduced sales in this sector of its business.

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