Wuxi Suntech has become the latest Chinese solar module manufacturer to voluntarily withdraw from Europe’s minimum import price undertaking.

A statement released this morning confirmed that the European Union had accepted Suntech’s decision, which the company claimed was down to its European customers not agreeing with the MIP and how it had failed to contract in line with the trend for falling prices.

He Shuangquan, executive president at Wuxi Suntech, said the company had always complied with the MIP, hoping that the duties would expire when they were due to after December last year.

The European Commission’s expiry review of the duties effectively extended the anti-dumping measures until as late as March 2017, leading Suntech to take the decision as a result of it not being “consistent” with the company’s strategy.

“Being out of the Undertaking agreement gives us more flexibility to serve Suntech's EU customers with excellent reliable products and will help us to expand our business,” Shuangquan said.

Suntech’s withdrawal is only likely to further the opinion that the MIP is becoming increasingly obsolete as the number of manufacturers operating outside it swells. The likes of JA Solar, JinkoSolar, Trina Solar and Lerri have all withdrawn from the undertaking in the last 18 months.

To date, Chinese manufacturers to have either withdrawn or been excluded from the undertaking include;

  • Wuxi Suntech
  • JA Solar
  • JinkoSolar
  • Trina Solar
  • Lerri Solar
  • Xian Longi
  • CNPV
  • Canadian Solar
  • ET Solar
  • Renesola
  • Shinetime
  • ZNShine
  • Del Solar
  • Motech

The result of the European Commission’s expiry review of the anti-dumping duties is widely expected to be announced before Christmas, and lobbying efforts from either side of the debate began to intensify last week.

Letters addressed to commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom calling for the MIP to be repealed were sent by more than 400 European companies, 36 trade associations and numerous NGOs, while pro-trade tariff group EU ProSun countered with a letter of its own.