Import of Solar Cells and Modules Drop and Exports Rise in the First Nine Months of 2019

Although there was an increase on QoQ basis, solar module and cell imports in Q3 2019 was flat compared to Q3 2018


In the first nine months (9M) of 2019, India imported solar cells and modules worth $1.6 billion (~₹115.7 billion), a drop of around 22% compared to 9M 2018. However, exports in 9M 2019 amounted to approximately $135 million (~$9.5 billion), an increase of about 46%.

India’s solar imports and exports witnessed a significant increase in the third quarter of 2019 (Q3). According to government data, India imported solar cells and modules worth $598.1 million (~₹42.2 billion), accounting for a quarter on quarter (QoQ) increase of around 50%. However, comparing the numbers to the same quarter of last year (Q3 2018), imports have declined slightly by about 1%.

In Q2 2019, India saw a contraction in the import and export of solar modules and cells. During Q2 2019, India imported solar modules and cells worth $399 million (~₹27.75 billion), a 39% decline compared to Q1 2019.

The Q3 export data also showed a growth of about 93% at $67.42 million (₹4.8 billion).

India Solar Cell and Module Import-Export Activity 9M 2017-9M 2019 ($M)

Solar Imports

China was the largest exporter of solar modules and cells to India in Q3 2019. China was followed by Vietnam, Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan accounted respectively.

Comparing Q3 2018 to Q3 2019, it is evident that there has been an exponential growth in imports from Thailand (680%), Vietnam (393%), and Hong Kong (125%). Imports from China and Malaysia saw degrowth of about 13% and 83%, after a year, since the imposition of safeguard duties on imports from these countries in July 2018.

India Solar Cell and Module Quarterly Import-Export Activity ($M)

Solar Exports

India’s solar exports to the United States continued to remain strong in Q3 2019, followed by exports to South Africa and Belgium.

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