Indian solar cell manufacturers request second anti-dumping investigation

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Solar cell manufacturers in India have put in a request to the government to investigate anti-dumping duties on the import of solar cells, according to a local report.

Domestic manufacturers claim that cheap imported solar cells now account for 90% of the market and have therefore called for duties on the US, EU, China, Malaysia and Taiwan for dumping, according to Indian newspaper Business Standard.

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The anti-dumping issue was first raised back in 2012 when Indian manufacturers filed an application with the Directorate General of Anti-dumping and Allied duties (DGAD) at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. At that point, they claimed that foreign imports had a 60% market share.

On this occasion, manufacturers have made applications to both DGAD and the Directorate General of Safeguards (DGS) under the ministry of finance.

After the original two-year investigation, DGAD proposed duties of US$0.48-0.81 per unit on the cells imported from the aforementioned countries except for the EU. However, the Ministry of Finance did not enforce the duty, allowing it to dwindle in June 2014.

Jasmeet Khurana, senior consulting manager at analyst firm Bridge to India, told PV Tech that it is unlikely that the government will register and take forward the latest applications.

He said: “It is fairly clear when they did the investigations last time that they actually found dumping, but even then it was scrapped because of interest to the [solar] industry, which is larger than the interests of just manufacturing of cells, which is a very small part of the solar industry in India.”

In July 2014, energy minister Piyush Goyal told Indian manufacturers to drop the case, claiming that there would be plenty of business opportunities, especially with the projected 100GW solar by 2022 target on the horizon.

However, Business Standard reported a letter from Indian Solar Manufacturer's Association letter to the DGS, citing the current “aggravated situation” of imports and “injury” to the domestic industry.

There are 1,250MW of solar cell manufacturing capacity in India, but just 250MW is operational due to low demand, according to the manufacturers.

The Indian government has attempted to retain some local business by imposing a Domestic Content Requirement (DCR), which requires some projects awarded contracts under India’s JNNSM national solar mission to use locally produced cells and modules.

However, as PV Tech reported back in August, The World Trade Organisation ruled against India in a long-running dispute instigated by the US over the inclusion of this local content policy.

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