Solar Imports Up 72% YoY in Q1 2021, Exports Show a Marginal Drop of 19%

In the first quarter (Q1) of the calendar year (CY) 2021, India imported solar cells and modules amounting to $259 million (~₹18.93 billion), a 132% increase compared to Q4 CY 2020. The numbers are 72% higher than $150.57 million (~₹10.83 billion) during the same period last year.

The increase in imports was a result of improved demand due to the waning impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in Q1 2021. However, commercial activities have again slowed down because of the second wave of the pandemic that is ravaging the country right now.

Solar exports also registered a significant growth of 293% and stood at $28.5 million (~₹2.08 billion) compared to $7.25 million (~₹528.4 million) in Q4 2020. The figures showed a marginal decline of 19% compared to $35.09 million (~₹2.51 billion) during the same period last year.

Solar Import Export 1

Solar Imports in Q1 2021


China was the largest exporter of solar modules and cells to India in Q1 CY 2021, followed by Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Taiwan.

Solar Exports in Q1 2021

The United States continued to be the largest market for solar exports from India, followed by Nigeria, South Africa, Congo, and Saudi Arabia.

In CY 2020, India imported solar cells and modules worth $475.78 million (~₹34.7 billion), a 78% drop from CY 2019. Exports had also declined by 67% for a total value of $84.16 million (~₹6.14 billion) in CY 2020 compared to $253.01 million (~₹18.45 billion) in 2019.

In March this year, the Ministry of Finance notified the levy of a countervailing duty on the cost, insurance, and freight value on the imports of textured and tempered (whether coated or uncoated) glass from Malaysia. The countervailing duty imposed under the notification would be applicable for five years. In December last year, the Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) had announced that it would levy countervailing duty on tempered glass from Malaysia to mitigate the benefits enjoyed by producers of the glass in Malaysia.

Also, in March, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) announced the basic customs duty on imported solar cells and modules starting April 1, 2022.