ETF Trends
ETF Trends

Solar exchange traded funds are caught between a trade protection tiff as U.S. companies offset losses from China’s photovoltaic panel producers in response to a new anti-subsidy tariff on Chinese solar equipment.

The Guggenheim Solar ETF (NYSEArca: TAN) is up 0.7% Wednesday while the Market Vectors Solar Energy ETF (NYSEArca: KWT) is down 2.3%. Year-to-date, TAN has increased 13.5% and KWT gained 9.7%.

The U.S. Department of Commerce increased the import duties on Chinese solar panels after finding that Beijing has been providing subsidies to artificially lower the price of photovoltaic panels produced in China, Reuters reports.

Specifically, the Commerce department placed a 35.21% tax on products made by Wuxi Suntech Power and five other affiliated companies, 18.56% on imports from Trina Solar (NYSE: TSL) and 26.89% on imports form other Chinese producers.

“The import duties, which are in line with our expectations, will wipe out the price competitiveness of Chinese products in the U.S. market,” Zhou Ziguang, analyst at Chinese investment bank Ping An Securities, said in the Reuters article.

Industry experts argue that the anti-subside duties will hurt Chinese solar companies, but the damage will be limited since the U.S. made up only 10% of total Chinese solar shipments in 2013.

Trina Solar, China’s second-largest panel producer, “continues to see robust demand for its products,” the company said in a statement, Bloomberg reports. “The geographical diversification of the company’s business continues,” while sales from new and emerging markets continue to grow. [Solar ETFs Brighten as Trina Shares Surge]

Meanwhile, U.S. solar stocks strengthened on the Commerce department’s decision. First Solar (NasdaqGS: FSLR) jumped 5.3% Wednesday while SunEdison (NasdaqGS: SUNE) rose 3.4% and GT Advanced Technologies (NasdaqGS: GTAT) gained 3.0%.

“This is a strong win for SolarWorld and the domestic solar manufacturing industry,” lawyer Tim Brightbill, from Wiley Rein LLP, representing SolarWorld, said in the article.

TAN includes a 9.2% weight in FSLR, 8.3% in SUNE, 6.6% in GTAT and 4.1% in TSL. KWT’s component allocations include FSLR 9.3%, SUNE 8.7%, GTAT 5.2% and TSL 3.0%.

Looking at geographical allocations, TAN includes a hefty 42.0% in U.S. companies, 25.3% in China and 16.1% in Hong Kong. KWT includes U.S. 35%, China 34% and Taiwan 15.7%.

Guggenheim Solar ETF

For more information on the solar industry, visit our solar category.

Max Chen contributed to this article.