Anti-Dumping Duty Likely on Aluminum Imports Used in Solar Mounting Structures

The Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) has recommended anti-dumping duty on certain flat-rolled aluminum products imported from China to offset the injury caused due to dumping in the Indian market. Flat-rolled aluminum is used in manufacturing solar module mounting structures used in ground-mounted and rooftop solar projects.

The investigation was conducted for the period from April 01, 2019, to March 31, 2020.

Anti-Dumping Duty Likely on Aluminum Imports Used in Solar Mounting Structures

Hindalco Industries had filed an application with DGTR on behalf of the domestic industry to initiate an anti-dumping investigation on the imports of flat-rolled aluminum products from China.

Background


Flat-rolled products of aluminum are made in aluminum-rolled coils or aluminum-rolled sheets of various dimensions.

The design of the aluminum flat-rolled products differs based on the end-use requirements. Aluminum flat-rolled products belonging to different product groups will not be interchangeable for reasons like the specific alloy treatments used or the finishing.

The petitioner’s production share is approximately 71% of the total Indian production. The application was also supported by two domestic producers, Jindal Aluminium and Manaksia Aluminium Company.

The domestic industry had pointed out deficiencies in the responses filed by all the exporters and importers in the investigation. Except for Granges Aluminium Shanghai, none of the parties responded to these comments.

The domestic players, in their submission, said that the dumped imports from China had increased significantly in absolute terms during the injury period. The imports of the product under consideration had increased from 39% in the base period to 64% in the investigation period.

Hindalco submitted that Chinese imports had increased by 60% during the same period, but the petitioner’s sales had increased by only 2%.

Even after considering the decline in Chinese imports (when compared to the immediately preceding year), the imports remained substantial over the entire investigation period – about 90% of the petitioner’s domestic sales during the investigation period compared to 53% in the year 2016-17 and 73% in the year 2017-18.

Hindalco stated that due to the imports at low prices, it had not been able to sell its product to the domestic customers resulting in piling of the inventories at various plants.

The petitioner added that the Chinese producers had significantly unutilized capacities (to the tune of 8.1 million MT in the year 2020 and 8.2 million MT in the year 2021) and had enough capacities for exports to India, which have a demand of only 0.5 million MT. The capacity utilization rate of Chinese producers was close to 60%.

Out of the total production of aluminum products in China, about 16% (or close to 2 million MT) is meant for exports, including India.

DGTR’s analysis

The DGTR observed that it had already addressed arguments concerning the exclusion of ‘coil for tube, header plate and endplate, unclad fin stock and unclad coil’ with regards to the scope of the product under consideration.

DGTR noted that the domestic industry had suffered a material injury during the investigation period. The examination of the imports of the subject product and the domestic industry’s performance showed that the volume of dumped imports from China had increased in both absolute and relative terms.

The quantity of the subject goods had increased by more than 60%, whereas demand had increased by only 18%. It also noted that the domestic industry’s market share had declined by 12% in the investigation period. In contrast, the market share of Chinese imports had increased by 35% during the period.

Regarding the lesser duty rule followed by the DGTR, it recommended the imposition of the anti-dumping duty to offset the injury to the domestic industry.

Earlier, the Ministry of Finance had imposed an anti-dumping duty on aluminum and zinc-coated flat products from China PR, Vietnam, and Korea RP to protect the domestic industry. The flat products are used in solar projects. Solar modules are placed on mounting structures that are made of aluminum and zinc-coated flat products.

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