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Indian Solar Exports Surge by 246% YoY in Q3 2023

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NEW DELHI : Solar cell and module exports from India surged 246% to $543.8 million (~₹45.5 billion) in the third quarter (Q3) of 2023 from $157 million (~₹12.5 billion) in Q3 2022, according to recent data published by the Department of Commerce.

Exports were up by 17% quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) from $463.8 million (~₹38.1 billion).The U.S. remained the top export destination in Q3 2023, accounting for 97.2%. Exports to the U.S. increased by 15.8% QoQ.

Indonesia accounted for around 1% of Indian solar exports, while Somalia, Thailand, and South Africa each accounted for 0.6%, 0.2% and 0.2%, respectively. Solar exports to other countries totaled about 0.7%.

Solar Imports

India imported $1.2 billion (~₹101.6 billion) worth of solar cells and modules during Q3 2023, a 208.2% YoY increase from $394 million (~₹31.4 billion).

Imports grew 31% QoQ from $926.6 million (~₹76.1 billion).

The higher imports were driven by the suspension of the Approved List of Models and Manufacturers (ALMM) Regulation and the steep drop in Chinese solar cell and module prices.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy suspended the ALMM order, allowing developers to procure solar modules from manufacturers not included in the ALMM list until March 31, 2024. Due to the fall in module prices in China and other Southeast Asian countries and the approaching deadline, developers are ramping up module procurement to commission projects on time.

In Q3 2023, China accounted for 50.2% of India’s solar imports compared to 42.3% in Q2 2023. Imports from China totaled $609.3 million (~₹50.6 billion), representing a 55.2% QoQ growth.

Vietnam was the second largest source of imports, with 24.3%, followed by Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Thailand, with 11.3%, 5.1%, and 4.4%, respectively. The value of solar products imported from Vietnam increased by 67.5%. The value of imports from Malaysia and Hong Kong dropped by 19.1% and 11.4%, respectively, from the previous quarter.

First Nine Months (9M) 2023

In the first nine months (9M) of 2023, solar cell and module exports grew 678% YoY to $1.5 billion (~₹122.4 billion) from $191 million (~₹14.8 billion).

Solar modules accounted for around 98.5% of the country’s total solar exports, and cells for 1.5%.

In December 2022, the U.S. Department of Commerce clarified the scope of the anti-circumvention investigation, allowing the import of solar modules assembled in countries other than Southeast Asia. This clarification has allowed Indian solar manufacturers to significantly increase module exports to the U.S., resulting in a surge in solar exports in 9M 2023.

From January to September, solar cell and module imports grew 33.1% YoY to $3 billion (~₹243.2 billion) from 2.2 billion (~₹172.1 billion).

Solar cells and modules imported in Q3 2023 alone accounted for 41.1% of the total imports in 9M 2023.

Solar cells accounted for 52.2% of 9M 2023’s imports compared to 39.9% in 9M 2022, whereas solar modules’ import share dropped to 49.6% from 60.1%.

Solar EXIM 9M 2023

For an in-depth look at the data, analysis, and charts, subscribe to the – Mercom India Solar Market Update quarterly report.

Detailed solar import and export data by component types, suppliers, manufacturers, and developers are available in Mercom’s India Solar Exim Tracker.

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