Kolkata: India’s solar imports witnessed a significant decline year-over-year (YoY) in the January-March quarter (Q1) of this year, thanks largely to the imposition of safeguard duty on imports of solar cells and modules last July.
In Q1 2019, solar modules and cells worth nearly $650 million (Rs 4,500 crore) were imported by India, down 40 per cent YoY from the $1.1 billion (Rs 7,600 crore) worth of solar cells and modules imported in Q1 of 2018.
Country-wise, China, which had a market share of 80.5 per cent in imports in Q1 2019, actually saw a decline of 47 per cent in value terms compared to Q1 2018. China’s exports of solar modules and cells to India amounted to nearly $523 million (Rs 3,700 crore) in Q1 2019, sharply down from $991 million (Rs 6,900 crore) in Q1 2018. China’s share in India’s total solar imports also declined from 91.5 per cent in Q1 of 2018 to 80.5 per cent.
Taiwan, which was the second largest exporter of solar equipment to India in Q1 2018, accounted for just 0.28 per cent in Q1 2019, a sharp decline of 96 per cent YoY from its 4.4 per cent share in Q1 2018.
Malaysia accounted for 0.25 per cent of India’s total solar imports, a decrease of 88 per cent from the 1.2 per cent share in the same period of the previous year.
Meanwhile, the exports from Thailand, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Singapore recorded significant growth in Q1 2019 compared to Q1 2018, according to a recent study by Mercom Research.
Interestingly, Mercom’s Q1 2019 India Solar Market Quarterly Update suggests that over 1.7 GW of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity was installed in India during the final quarter of FY19. In the same period, India exported solar modules and cells worth $33 million (Rs 230 crore), an increase of 74 per cent compared to $19 million (Rs 130 crore) in the same quarter of the previous year.