Thursday 6 June 2013

A Chinese Cracker - Gotta Love Their Sense of Humour

Good game!
So the Chinese are miffed about an EU tariff on their cut-price solar panels and are looking for a riposte.  They know it's the protectionist wing of the EC behind the tariff, not the free-traders: so how to react ?  A retaliatory wine import duty !   A more finely-calibrated response could not be devised.

Do we imagine that British solar panel manufacturers will suddenly spring into mass production ? There's a little lesson here for all the greens and Yeos who keep banging on about how renewables herald an economic boom for British industry.  In practice, apart from several thousand relatively low-value installation jobs, the 'boom' translates into imports of wind turbines, solar panels, and wood-chips + palm oil for 'biomass' burning.  As Liberum Capital's recent report stated: 
overseas markets have failed to materialise as expected, and Asian (especially Chinese) manufacturers have aggressively entered the market, often brutally under-cutting EU suppliers. Virtually the entire German solar manufacturing base has been wiped out by this competition. Vestas, the EU’s leading wind turbine manufacturer has seen its share price crumble from a high of over 700 Krona to only circa 46 Krona today. From this it is hard to discern that EU citizens are getting much of a benefit from reviving their industrial base with the €30bn per annum subsidy that renewables are costing


Blue Eyes said...

Yes, I thought it was brilliant to hit Club Med with the wine tariffs. That must be why Hollande was so p'd off with Merkel the other day. Do the EUphiles really think that China wouldn't sign up to a free-trade agreement with an independent Britain???

I'm all for Britain's industries being one step ahead, but the problem with government picking winners is that by the time the winners have been picked the world has moved on. Making mobile phones, for example, gave Finland a great boost but I can't imagine there is much margin in it these days. Ed Miliband would be just opening up the biggest 2G phone factory in the world in Durham if he had his way.

Jan said...


Apparently the Chinese are also getting into wine growing themselves so they might not want to import much wine soon anyway.

Anonymous said...

Rather thrusts Europe's bind into our faces -

"We won't buy your plonk, we can make our own" - next step - EU gets into making very very high grade plonk - snag, it's too expensive at home and everywhere else. Epic fail.

OK, next step up the value chain - EU starts making Large Hadron solar panels - twice as good as Chinese ones - competitive advantage for 6 months max. Epic fail.

Next leap up the value chain - sell high-grade intellectual property. Snag, not easy or cheap to come by and most people can't do it and still have to be paid social security benefits. The few providers demand megabucks. Lacks leverage and scale. Epic fail.

One answer - run a totally rapacious banking system with huge risks and huge profits and next to no regulation and sit back and live off the taxes. Sorted.

Demetrius said...

I'm burning to know how this will all end. The Bolshoi from Moscow are doing "The Flames of Paris" at Covent Garden this August.

Electro-Kevin said...

Sour grapes, obviously.

Nick Drew said...

& after his wine-tasting, Hollande looks like he could murder a chinese, EK

CityUnslicker said...

I was going to delete the spam but thought it a good addition to the debtate in showing just how desperate a business it is!

DtP said...

Hey Bill

Sorry about this but am cocktail bound allez a la boozer so can I submit a very poor entry early and, obviously, be struck off the first entry list?

Dimbletie - a blue affair (just don't tell the cleaner...fnarr fnarr)

1) WFA/Child benefit - have we moved from the founding principles of Bevan's universality into a state funded underclass? ('s certainly one for the anoraks and quite an stimulating topic, really).

2) The Prevent agenda, TERFOR and how to surpress stigmatisation and ghettoisation of demographic indicators. The Respect lass is quite good - she thinks Gorgeous George is a tool too!

3) Syria - for the love of God Billy, just go to the boozer. It's all very well him moralising and hand wringing and even, to some extent, sabre rattling but he seems quite keen on intervention (or, the FCO does, anywho). Ch4 News last night reported that the US are starting to back the hell away though so...

4) Surely not A&E again?

5) I dunno - this Gove GCSE bollox. I don't do education so have read bugger all about it but it seems a bit of a spunk bubble.

Good luck folks.

Blue Eyes said...


This week new rule: you have to hand in your entry in hard copy format to CU or ND at the actual drinks.