Indian module manufacturers are gearing up for an end-of-year surge in solar project procurement and hoping their investments in incorporating global manufacturing benchmarks will translate into enhanced sales.
From cheer to gloom, the Indian solar industry has had mixed reactions to the Supreme Court’s interim order lifting the stay on the imposition of a 25% safeguard duty on imported solar cells and modules.
In a significant move, which will greatly impact India’s solar industry, the country’s Supreme Court has reportedly given the go-ahead for the government to impose 25% safeguard duties on imports of PV cells and modules. The levy will be effective July 30, 2018.
According to the Taiwanese analysts, the solar PV module market is still stable. However, EnergyTrend expects a new price war to erupt with the end of minimum import tariffs (MIPs). In particular, Taiwanese manufacturers will have to cope with increasing price pressure.
Newly released EIA data shows overall module shipments falling by two thirds in the second quarter of 2018, while pre-tariff prices remained relatively steady.
China has officially filed two complaints with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) against the United States, in response to its 30% Section 201 and 25% Section 301 tariffs.
As per the court order, Shapoorji Pallonji can retrieve its solar PV panel consignment at Chennai port, which has been cleared by customs, provided it pays the safeguard duty in case the related notification is upheld.
The Indian government has imposed a safeguard duty of 25% on solar imports from China and Malaysia for two years. The Ministry of Finance (Department of Revenue) levied the duty based on the final recommendations proposed by the Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR). While most industry players are dismayed, believing project costs could “immediately” go up by 15%, others are more optimistic.
India is currently the second largest market in the world for PV module demand. With China’s domestic demand frozen since the 31/5 notification, the country’s total module demand in 2018 will likely only achieve 32-34 GW. This will allow India, which may surpass 10 GW in annual demand, to reach 13% of global PV demand this year. As a result, the future of India’s trade war has become an influential factor in the global PV industry.
The proposed safeguard tariffs on imports from China and Malaysia are expected to generate a number of painful short-term impacts. Overall they are not expected to change much in the market, however, says TrendForce. What will have a bigger effect is the EU’s final MIP decision, due in September.