Solar Imports and Exports

In the second quarter (Apr-Jun) of 2017, export and import activity totaling $1.24 billion (~₹ 79.9 billion) was registered in the Indian solar sector. This was $124.08 million (~₹11.1 billion) lower compared to import and export activity worth $1.36 billion (~₹91 billion) in the first quarter (Jan-Mar) of 2017.

During Q2 2017, India exported solar modules and cells worth $8.88 million (~₹572 million) and imported solar modules and cells worth $1.23 billion (~₹79.4 billion), according to data from the Department of Commerce. Compared to the same period in 2016, solar imports have grown by 180 percent, whereas exports have declined by 75 percent.

India Imports and Exports of Solar Cells and Modules

Solar Imports by Country and Market Share

It is no surprise that China continues to be the largest exporter of solar modules and cells to India, accounting for $1.1 billion (~₹71.3) worth of India’s total solar import and a 90.4 percent market share, during Q2 2017. Malaysia is the second largest exporter to India, accounting for $56 million (~₹3.6 billion) of India’s imports and a 4.6 percent market share.

Country-wise Breakdown of Indian Solar Imports (%)

Solar Exports to Other Countries

India’s solar exports are witnessing a gradual decline. Denmark was the largest importer of Indian solar modules and cells, importing modules and cells worth $2.44 million (~₹156 million) accounting for 27.5 percent of India’s total solar exports. Italy accounts for 8.1 percent of exports, followed closely by Belgium at 7.0 percent. Germany and the U.S. account for 6.3 percent and 6.1 percent respectively.

Country-wise Breakdown of Indian Solar Exports (%)

1H 2017 Activity (Jan-Jun 2017)

In the first half of 2017, import and export activity worth $2.6 billion (~₹171 billion) was registered. This is 66 percent higher than the import and export activity registered in first half of 2016, which amounted to $1.57 billion (~₹106 billion).

As of now, import and export activity in the solar sector is hinging on the ongoing anti-dumping investigation. Based on the numbers from last quarter, anti-dumping tariffs – if imposed – would affect 96% of solar imports from China, Malaysia and Taiwan. Recently, the office of the Directorate General of Anti-Dumping & Allied Duties (DGAD) India extended the time to return responses to the anti-dumping investigation on solar imports from China, Taiwan and Malaysia. The last day for submission of the required data is September 12, 2017. The anti-dumping recommendations from DGAD is expected to come around September 22, 2017.

Mercom previously reported that during fiscal year 2016-17, India exported solar modules and cells worth $69 million (~Rs.4.6 billion) and imported $3.2 billion (~Rs.214.2 billion). Compared to the previous financial year, solar imports grew by 36 percent and exports declined by 60 percent.

The Indian solar market added ~1.9 GW in the second quarter of 2017, bringing installations in the first half of the year to ~4.8 GW (surpassing the 4.3 GW installed in all of 2016) according to the latest India Solar Market Update released by Mercom India Research.