Indian solar imports surge, while exports plummet

Compared to the same period in 2015-16, solar imports have grown by 34 %, whereas exports have declined by 58 % placing the combined value of PV shipments at $2.61 billion, find new analysis of official government figures by Mercom Capital Group.

In the period from April to February, India’s PV exports totaled $66 million, while the import of solar modules and cells was worth $2.5 billion. This was $554 million more compared to the import-export activity of $2.06 billion in the same period in FY 2015-16.

Compared to February 2016, imports rose by 10%, while exports suffered a dramatic drop of 73% in February 2017.

On the list of largest exporters of solar modules and cells to India, China keeps a firm hold on No. 1 spot, accounting for $2.2 billion of the country’s total solar import and an 86.6 % market share.

Malaysia comes in second with an incomparably smaller market share of 8.1% amounting to $205.78 million of India’s imports.

Despite a dramatic decline in exports, from as much as $159 million in the same period in 2015, the U.K. market remains the largest for Indian suppliers ’s solar modules and cells, accounting for $18.8 million or 28.5 %

Italy and Belgium are the next biggest markets with 7.8% and 7.7% of India’s solar exports respectively, followed by the U.S. (7.04%) and China (6.8%).

With as ambitious a target as 100 GW by 2022, India’s solar market is determined to grow. However, based on the latest data, this does not mean that the domestic manufacturing industry will be able to keep up the pace, after its wings were clipped by the World Trade Organization’s rejection of the Indian appeal against the U.S. complaint last September.