Federal Government “Dumps” the Anti-Dumping inquest

Posted on April 16, 2015

Last week, the Federal Government decided to cancel their anti-dumping inquiry into the low prices of Chinese solar panels, signalling a huge win for the solar industry, and for those concerned in the ongoing Senate debate surrounding the Renewable Energy Target. A spokesman for the Australian Solar Council – a body established to provide a voice to the thousands employed in the solar industry – welcomed the news as a “Win for common sense.”

Instigated by the Federal Government in late 2013, the report was scheduled to be delivered in September of last year, but numerous extensions – citing numerous difficulties including “complexities [of] the investigation” – and public outcry, have forced the Government to shelve the report completely. For us in the solar industry, it ensures that we can keep our solar panel prices at their current record lows, now our only tool to increase growth since the recent slashing of feed-in tariffs.

What is Dumping?

Dumping a product or service onto the market, is basically the forced manoeuvre of over-supplying any particular material at a cost which is far below that of the market competition. It is generally frowned upon throughout the developed world, as the deliberate, artificial deflation to increase market share often harms the relevant local industry significantly. Chinese solar power companies were accused of doing just this, between 1 July, 2012 and 31 December, 2013.

To be found “guilty” of dumping, it must be illustrated that the company (or companies) gained enormous market share as a result, along with evidence of comparable Australian industry growth, either flatlining or being forced into a negative trend. As these panels did not overtake the established market share (firmly in the court of the big manufacturers of German solar panels, and the damage done to Australian panel manufacturers was “negligible to nonexistent”, the inquest was cancelled, owing to a lack of proof of any wrongdoing.

What would have been the ramifications?

If the Anti-Dumping Commission (ADC) had concluded that Chinese solar panels had in fact been deliberately dumped, the ramifications for the industry would have been huge. The Chinese panels would have to have been marked up to an assumed industry standard, forcing many companies out of business, whilst making it virtually impossible to invest in residential solar panels, due to the huge increase in solar quotes.

It would have also given the Government the growth statistics needed, for it to argue its case more strongly for a significantly trimmed down Renewable Energy Target, which would have considerably setback the Australian solar industry. This cancellation of the inquest has provided relief for an industry besieged in recent times, and has already relieved pressure on growth targets for the years ahead.

The most important aspect regarding this decision, however, is that it allows solar power companies like us to continue to provide solar panels for sale, with the aim to achieve smaller energy bills and a sustainable environment for future generations. Think Solar is determined to continue our track record of professional installation, high quality products, and the lowest prices for those looking to buy solar panels in Melbourne. Contact us today on 1300 680 951, and experience the Think Solar difference.

What are your thoughts on the recent decision by the Anti-Dumping Commission?

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