BEIJING—Chinese solar-panel manufacturers are open to raising prices and limiting exports to the European Union as a way to avoid steep tariffs on solar-panel exports, industry representatives said Thursday.
The industry's outreach to European officials was rebuffed, they said, and it isn't clear how supportive government officials in Beijing might be. But it underscores the impact of the hefty tariffs European officials have proposed against Chinese manufacturers accused of selling products well below market value.
"We've agreed to this idea, but the only problem is how much volume [to cut] and what is the minimum price we have to undertake," said Wang Yiyu, chief strategy officer at Yingli Green Energy Holding Co., YGE +4.30% the world's largest solar-panel company by sales.
Mr. Wang said the proposal, which involves raising prices and possibly limiting exports, has been in the works for almost two months. Yingli has already provided guidance to the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products regarding its tolerance level for pricing and shipment volumes to Europe, he said. The CCCME, an industry group, has been negotiating with the EU on behalf of China's solar manufacturers.
"This isn't a problem as long as the majority of Chinese solar companies believe it's doable," Mr. Wang said.
Although it isn't clear which side originally proposed the plan, the CCCME's price suggestions were rebuffed by the EU last week in Brussels, the industry group said Wednesday in a written statement. China's Ministry of Commerce didn't immediately reply to questions about a possible settlement to the solar trade dispute.
"We made practical, feasible proposals on prices but the Europeans rejected our suggestions outright without replying to our questions or offering any explanations," the CCCME said in a statement on its website.
Due to a plunge in prices, the value of Chinese solar products in Europe fell 45% to $11.2 billi