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Low local solar cell prices forecast in short term

TAIPEI--Prices of Taiwan-made solar cells will stay low in the short term, due to the industry's traditionally slow season and weak demand in China and Japan, according to a local research firm.

Prices will also remain at a low level because U.S. anti-dumping measures on Chinese photovoltaic (PV) products will have an impact on Taiwan's exports of solar cells to the mainland, researchers said.

On Friday, the U.S. Commerce Department set preliminary dumping margins on imported photovoltaic products from China, indicating that it may impose punitive duties on the products.

It would be imposed after both the Commerce Department and the U.S. International Trade Commission make affirmative final rulings, which are scheduled for Dec. 15, 2014 and Jan. 29, 2015, respectively.

China's Trina Solar could be facing total import duties of 30 percent and Suntech Power nearly 50 percent, the news website Brics Post reported.

Such possible rulings will have a huge impact on both Chinese and Taiwanese PV markets, said Corrine Lin, an analyst of market research firm EnergyTrend.

Nearly half of Taiwan's solar cell exports go to China, and the anticipated change in the market will affect the prices of Taiwanese-made products, she added.

"Although the U.S.-China trade war will not have actual impacts on Chinese and Taiwanese makers until next year, the stock up caused by weak demand may lead to low prices in short run," Lin said.

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