Solar panel companies hit after tariff announcement

Better-than-expected...for Chinese producers.

Shares of Chinese solar panel makers, such as Trina Solar, Yingli Green Energy and Suntech Power, jumped Tuesday while their U.S.-based counterparts, Sunpower and First Solar, fell after the U.S. Commerce Department announced preliminary tariffs on imported Chinese solar panels that are more modest than anticipated.

The Commerce Department is levying preliminary countervailing duties (CVD) of 2.9% to 4.7% against Chinese solar companies. Trina Solar received the highest CVD, at 4.73%, while Suntech received the lowest tariff, at 2.9%. All other Chinese solar companies will be subject to a 3.6% import duty. highlighted that the complaint against Chinese solar companies for "dumping" of panels in the U.S. at below cost has been one of the headline political issues in the solar sector for 2012, and arguably second only to Germany's subsidy revisions as a trigger for solar trading.

Commenting on the news, Suntech, the world's largest producer of solar panels, stated, "This initial decision reflects the reality that Suntech's global success is based on free and fair competition. Nonetheless, unilateral trade barriers, large or small, will further delay our transition away from fossil fuels at a time when the majority of Americans demand cleaner and more secure energy such as solar."

 Suntech Power (STP : NYSE : US$3.57), Net Change: 0.44, % Change: 14.06%, Volume: 9,009,452 Trina Solar (TSL : NYSE : US$8.38), Net Change: 0.61, % Change: 7.85%, Volume: 9,063,499 Yingli Green Energy (YGE : NYSE : US$4.27), Net Change: 0.46, % Change: 12.07%, Volume: 13,167,172 First Solar (FSLR : NASDAQ : US$27.46), Net Change: -1.21, % Change: -4.22%, Volume: 6,238,939 Sunpower (SPWR : NASDAQ : US$7.31), Net Change: -0.59, % Change: -7.47%, Volume: 2,229,250

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