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Chinese, European Union Solar Panel Talks Break Down, Silver Still Slumping

European Union and Chinese trade negotiations fell throw on Monday. China called upon the European Union to cease the imposition of tariffs on solar panels, and the European trade comissioner complained that China was forcing individual countries to ensure that no consensus was reached.

Europe plans a tariff on China’s panels, which Europeans complain are being sold at unfairly low prices. Europe has already imposed tariffs on nearly 50 percent of Chinese solar panel shipments, which is one the largest categories of Chinese exports to Europe and is worth about $27 billion a year.

The commission plans to impose tariffs on Chinese solar panels beginning June 6, together with the commission’s preparations to begin a similar trade case against Chinese exports of wireless communications gear.

This was merely more gloomy news out of China as last week China’s manufacturing sector began to contract in May for the first time since October.

This has all weighed on silver. In particular, the Chinese solar industry is a center of silver demand. If its efforts to sell its products are impeded in Europe, a huge market, then demand for silver by way of Chinese solar panel production could fall. Therefore, demand for silver falls and also, possibly, the price.

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