How Chinese Solar Glass Dumping Triggers Price War In India?

Highlights :

  • Indian solar glass companies were forced to reduce their selling prices in FY24 to compete with the cheaper imported solar glass from China and Vietnam.
  • Lower freight rates, Chinese govt subsidies and lack of tariff support against imports are making Indian solar glass expensive to Chinese counterparts.
How Chinese Solar Glass Dumping Triggers Price War In India? How Chinese Solar Glass Dumping Triggers Price War In India?

The selected Indian solar glass manufacturing companies in India had been reiterating the demand for imposing import duties (tariff barriers) against the dumping of cheap Chinese and Vietnamese solar glasses. However, it is still under consideration of the Indian government. 

The decision to impose such a duty has been shifted to September 2024 which was originally to be taken up from April of this year. The government took the decision to do away with the anti-dumping rules in August 2022. 

Unlike the solar modules and solar cells which enjoy a tariff barrier during imports to India, the domestic solar manufacturers lack any such tariff barrier support from the government. Left with no option, these solar glass companies are trying their best to fight against the cheaper Chinese solar glass and its unabated dumping in India. 

This has even led to even losses for the domestic market. For example-Borosil Renewable, a well known name in the Indian solar glass manufacturing industry recorded a post-tax loss of Rs 16.52 crores in FY24 against a profit of Rs 88.54 crores in FY23. 

The Chinese solar glass invasion in India has led to a price war in India. Many of the solar glass manufacturing companies in India like Borosil Renewables had to lower down their selling prices to compete with the cheap Chinese solar glass makers. Glimpses of the price war complexities also featured in the latest investors call of Borosil Renewables.

As per the Indian solar glass companies, the decline in freight rates from China to India in FY23, the Chinese government support through subsidies for export of solar glass and lack of adequate support to this segment from the Indian government bolstered the solar glass exporters from China and Vietnam to dump their cheap solar glass companies. 

This has even halted the expansion plans of Indian solar glass behemoths like Borosil Renewable. PK Kheruka, Executive Chairman of the firm in an interview with Saur Energy had talked about how the company had to put their expansion plan on hold until a decision on imposition of anti-dumping on such dumping takes place.

As per the details furnished by the publicly-listed company, the average selling prices of solar glass during the year were about Rs 109 per millimeter per square meter, a serious decline of 20.2% as compared to Rs 136.5 per millimeter per square meter during the previous year.

“The floodless gates were opened for duty-free dumping of Chinese glass. Unfortunately, this was covered with a dramatic reduction in the cost of ocean freight from China and a further drop in FOB prices from China. Put together, this caused a severe decline in the landed prices of imports leading to a slashing of our margins,” Kheruka told investors recently. 

Borosil said that the domestic solar glass manufacturing capacity has now reached 2,300 tons per day as against 180 tons per day in April 2019. “Borosil remains the largest non-Chinese owned solar glass manufacturer in the world with 1,350 tons per day, including 350 tons per day in Germany,” the management said in its latest investors call

On the other hand, Indian solar glass manufacturing has also increased despite competition. “New manufacturers have commissioned new capacities at 1,300 tons per day in India taking the capacity to 2,300 tons per day,” Borosil said. 

The Indian solar glass industry has also approached the Indian government seeking investigation into the issue. It also anticipating a pro-domestic industry decision from the government in September 2024. The rise in freight rates for imports from China to India also added hopes to the Indian companies.

The Indian solar glass manufacturers are now buoyed by the expected rise of domestic solar module production after the government brought back the ALMM and also paved the way for higher demand for DCR modules with the announcement of PM Surya Ghar scheme. 

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