BCD Effect: India’s Solar Imports Down, Exports Surge 642% YoY in Q3 2022

On a QoQ basis, exports went up by 499% to $157 million


India exported solar cells and modules worth $157 million (~₹12.76 billion) in the third quarter (Q3) of the calendar year (CY) 2022, an increase of 642% year-over-year (YoY) compared to 21.17 million (~₹1.72 billion), according to Department of Commerce data.

On a quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) basis, exports went up by 499% from $26.22 million (~₹2.13 billion). The significant rise in solar exports is due to the absence of competition from imports, increased domestic production of cells and modules, and import restrictions in the U.S. Over 9 GW of production lines have been commissioned in the previous two quarters.

Imports of solar cells and modules during the quarter declined by 59% YoY to $394 million (~₹32.02 billion) as a result of Basic Customs Duty (BCD) and Approved List of Models and Manufacturers (ALMM). On a QoQ basis, imports fell by 34% from $597.48 million (~₹48.55 billion).

EXIM Q3 2022

Solar imports in Q3 2022

As the BCD kicked in April, the imports, which witnessed a significant increase in the last quarter of 2021 and the first quarter of 2022, have fallen.

The Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) terminated the anti-dumping probe on the imports of solar cells, whether or not assembled into modules, from China, Vietnam, and Thailand. The investigation was closed after the petitioner, the Indian Solar Manufacturers Association, submitted that post-initiation, the government introduced a basic customs duty of 25% and 40% on solar cells and modules from April 1, 2022. The imposed duties covered the entire scope of the product under investigation and have alleviated the price pressure on the domestic industry to a considerable extent.

Solar exports

The United States continued to be the largest market for solar exports from India in Q3 2022. The U.S. accounted for 94% of the market share, compared to 45% in Q2 2022.

The share of exports to the U.S. significantly rose as the country has severely restricted shipments of solar components from China due to concerns about forced labor in China’s Xinjiang region.

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