U.S. imports of crystalline silicon solar cells and panels from China fell to their lowest level in at least two years in November, even amid the peak year-end selling season, according to an analysis of federal statistics by the Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing.
Total Chinese imports valued at $50.5 million in November, down from $75 million in October, were less than a fifth of the $278 million total from October 2011.
The CASM says these declines in Chinese imports reflect the market's growing recognition of the costs and risks associated with importing Chinese solar products in light of the recent imposition of anti-subsidy and anti-dumping duties on them.
Chinese imports were on pace to end 2012 about a third lower than in 2011, according to the import data. Through November, Chinese cell and panel imports totaled about $1.7 billion, down from $2.4 billion for the same period of 2011, a decrease of about 30%.
‘The tide of the Chinese government's intervention in the U.S. solar market is showing signs of receding,’ says Gordon Brinser, president of SolarWorld Industries America Inc. ‘The relief could not come too soon. Workers for most manufacturers have suffered widespread cuts, and the finances of Western and Chinese companies alike have fared poorly.
‘Unlike Chinese counterparts, however, the strongest non-Chinese operators cannot depend on their government to prop them up as they endure the consequences of China's illegal trade practices,’ Brinser adds.