India’s solar cell imports rise as domestic module production expands


As Indian solar manufacturers expanded their module production capacities last year, the volume of imports of foreign-made cells to assemble into those panels rose.

The value of solar cells imported from April to the end of last year stood at US$633 million, topping the US$572 million figure reported for the whole of the previous fiscal year.

China was the biggest source of imported solar cells from April to December, accounting for US$578 million worth, with Malaysia the source of US$20 million worth of products, and Thailand banking solar cell trade worth US$16 million in India, according to Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry data.

During the same period of the current fiscal year, India imported US$2.5 billion worth of solar panels, with China accounting for 90% of that trade, with US$2.25 billion worth of exports. Panels from Hong Kong accounted for US$201 million of Indian imports, Malaysia exported US$25.3 million worth of modules to India, and Singapore US$20 million.

In terms of solar module trade flows out of India, for the first nine months of fiscal year 22, the nation exported US$81 million worth of products. The US was the biggest destination for Indian panels, and imported US$59 million worth of them, to account for 73% of Indian module exports.

India also exported US$6.8 million worth of panels to Somalia, from April to year-end, and US$4.55 million worth to South Africa.

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