Chinese solar stocks shake off fears over US import duties

May 22, 2012

Chinese solar stocks rose for the first time in six days in New York, led by Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. (YGE), on speculation new US tariffs announced last week won’t reduce the companies’ sales, Bloomberg reported today.

Yingli, a solar-panel maker based in Baoding city in northern China, rose the most in two months, adding 6.7 percent to USD2.69 at the close of trading in New York. Shares have lost 29 percent this year. Suntech Power Holdings Co. (STP), the world’s largest solar-panel maker, added 1.5 percent to USD2.03.

Yingli fell 22 percent and Suntech slumped 12 percent in the two days after the US said on May 17 that it’s imposing tariffs of as much as 250 percent on Chinese-made solar cells to aid domestic manufacturers. The companies can sustain US sales by circumventing the tariffs through increased manufacturing in Canada and the US, or exporting panels from Taiwan, David Smith, the portfolio manager of the Gabelli Green Fund (SRIAX), told Bloomberg.

“There was a knee-jerk reaction to the news last week that’s turned to the realization that there are many ways Chinese solar companies can work around these duties,” Smith said by phone from Rye, New York. “This makes it a little more difficult but there’s nothing that says these guys can’t order cells from Taiwan and have them assembled in the US.”