Commission closes anti-dumping investigation into PV imports

The Anti-Dumping Commission has closed its investigation into the alleged dumping of Chinese solar photovoltaic modules exported to Australia.

The Commission found that while imports of crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules or panels from a sample of selected Chinese exporters had indeed been dumped, this did not have a big impact upon local business.

In his statement announcing the termination of the investigation, Anti-Dumping Commissioner Dale Seymour wrote, “The injury, to the Australian industry or the hindrance, to the Australian industry’s establishment, caused by certain crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules or panels exported to Australia at dumped prices is negligible.”

So while the Anti-Dumping Commission did find that the exporter had sold the photovoltaic modules and panels to Australia at prices below the normal domestic price, the this action did not cause an undue hindrance to the competitiveness of local industry.

The anti-dumping investigation started in 2014, after Adelaide-based Tindo, Australia’s sole domestic manufacturer of photovoltaic modules and panels, complained.

The solar market in Australia is dominated by imports. Chinese modules and panels make up 89 percent of the market. Between July 2012 and September 2013, Tindo had less than one percent of the local market share.

Tindo complained that the PV models or panels were being exported to Australia at prices lower than their normal value, causing material damage to the Australian industry producing PV modules or panels (i.e. itself).

The Commission found that dumping had indeed occurred, with significant ‘dumping margins’ of between 16 and 39 percent. However, the price falls subsided during the investigation, and Tindo’s overall sales volumes had increased throughout the period.

While Tindo sees the termination of the investigation as a negative, others, like the Clean Energy Council, welcomed the decision, saying the investigation had been a significant source of uncertainty for the industry at large.