Solar makers in contact with US customs after shipments were detained: source
Published: Nov 13, 2022 09:16 PM
Solar panel Photo: Xinhua

Solar panel Photo: Xinhua

A Chinese solar company told the Global Times that it is in the process of providing "supplementing evidence" to US customs, with "no single shipment" getting cleared, after foreign media reported that the US has detained more than 1,000 shipments of solar products made in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region at its ports.

"Given the 'enormous uncertainties' in the US market, no solar products are entering the US market now," an industry insider, who is close to a leading Chinese solar company, told the Global Times on condition of anonymity on Sunday.

More than 1,000 shipments of solar components worth hundreds of millions of dollars have piled up at US ports since June under a new US law banning imports from China's Xinjiang over concerns about so-called "forced labor", Reuters reported, citing US customs officials and industry sources.

Detained products include panels and polysilicon cells likely amounting to 1 gigawatt of capacity and primarily made by three Chinese manufacturers - Longi Green Energy Technology Co, Trina Solar Co and JinkoSolar Holding Co, Reuters reported.

"During the same time last year, we were relatively optimistic about the US market and prepared a lot of resources, but this year has brought us a large loss," said the person, adding that he's unable to predict demand from the US for 2023.

Demand in the US market is very strong, and the prices are much higher than in other markets, but due to issues involving traceability and uncertainty, no more goods are entering the US now, said the person.

Altogether, Longi, Trina and Jinko typically account for about one-third of US panel supplies, the Reuters report said.

In response, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told a regular press conference on Friday that claims about "forced labor" in Xinjiang were "the biggest lie of the century concocted by a handful of anti-China elements."

The US legislation based on the lie has seriously disrupted normal trade in photovoltaic products between China and US, violated market laws and international economic and trade rules, and undermined the stability of global photovoltaic (PV) industrial and supply chains, as well as global action on climate change, Zhao said, adding it will eventually backfire and hurt the US' own interests. 

The US should immediately stop hobbling Chinese solar companies and release the detained solar energy components without delay, Zhao said, stressing China will continue to firmly safeguard Chinese companies' legitimate and lawful rights and interests.

Exports of Chinese PV modules have surged this year. From January to August, China's exports reached $35.77 billion, able to generate electricity of 100 gigawatts. Both exceeded the full-year figures for 2021, the China Photovoltaic Industry Association said.

Chinese industry players told the Global Times that despite a fall in the US market, they are gaining a historic foothold in Europe for being the most reliable supplier of solar panels as the region copes with a deepening energy crisis and its green transformation.

They estimated that the EU is likely to take up to 50 percent of China's total PV exports this year.