Solar shares are in a bit of flux after reports that the U.S. Commerce Department has ruled that Chinese solar panel makers have received illegal subsidies from China’s government. U.S. based panel makers have asked for tariffs of up to 100% on the Chinese anti-dumping charges, but it is not looking like it will be anything close to real punishment. Instead of a slap on the wrist, it looks like the Chinese solar players are being punished by being given a piece of candy.
Reuters ran a figure that the duties would be as low as 5% or even less. If this is the case, why even bother?
Trina Solar Limited (NYSE: TSL) is up almost 7% at $8.30 so far and Suntech Power Holdings Co., LTD (NYSE: STP) was up almost 8% at $3.37 so far this Tuesday. Shares of LDK Solar Co. Inc. (NYSE: LDK) are only up 2.6% as a secondary beneficiary at $4.75 but shares of JA Solar Holdings, Co., Ltd. (NASDAQ: JASO) are up 5.5% at $1.92 on the day.
The Commerce Department has not yet released its full release, so we are considering this as being mostly unfinished business. Details and additional information could also end up being very different. Still, this punishment looks hardly like any punishment at all. Stay tuned.
JON C. OGG