China Shipped 17.7 GW Solar Panels In Nov. 2023

Asia Pacific, Not Europe, Largest Chinese Solar Module Importing Region, Says InfoLink Consulting

China Shipped 17.7 GW Solar Panels In Nov. 2023

Having shipped 191.8 GW total modules in 11M/2023, Chinese module exports may see a drop as new capacities come online in the US and India, according to InfoLink Consulting. (Photo Credit: InfoLink Consulting)

  • Chinese solar module manufacturers shipped 17.7 GW panels in November 2023, taking the total during 11M/2023 to 191.8 GW 
  • Asia Pacific, led by India, was the largest importer with 8.1 GW, followed by Pakistan and Japan 
  • Seasonal drop pulled down demand in Europe by 20% YoY and 22% sequentially to 4.9 GW 
  • The drop in module prices will continue to boost demand, especially in Brazil and India 

InfoLink Consulting’s latest Chinese solar module shipment data shows the country’s solar module exports of almost 18 GW during November 2023 had Asia Pacific as the largest buyer. The latter replaced Europe from the top spot. 

The 17.7 GW of panels shipped by Chinese companies represented a 65% YoY improvement and 7.6% sequentially, taking the total during 11M/2023 to 191.8 GW with a 33% YoY jump. In comparison, 154.8 GW panel capacity was exported throughout 2022. 

With 8.1 GW, Asia Pacific took the lead during the reporting month, thanks to India importing nearly 3.9 GW in November last year. India also imported 1.2 GW of cells from China during the reporting month, becoming the biggest importer for the month. InfoLink attributes the Indian demand to a rapid increase in utility-scale tenders and ground-mounted projects and the rush to buy modules before the end of Approved List of Models and Manufacturers (ALMM) exemption in March 2024 (see India Provides Relief From ALMM Obligation). 

Additionally, the drop in module prices is also encouraging Indian developers to buy Chinese panels for their 2024 projects ‘sending inventory draws in the fourth quarter to twice the volume in the third quarter.’ CRISIL expects module prices to help India exit fiscal year 2023 with 16 GW of PV capacity (see Falling Solar Module Prices To Boost Indian Installations). 

Pakistan and Japan were the other major Asia Pacific markets to buy a large quantity of Chinese modules. In all, this region imported 47.4 GW of Chinese modules during 11M/2023, a 61% YoY increase. 

The largest buyer of Chinese panels over the last several months, Europe went mellow during November, importing about 4.9 GW. This represents a decrease of 20% YoY and 22% sequentially, thanks to huge inventory already in its warehouses. A traditional low season in Q4 came in after high inventory draws in H1/2023. 

The decline in module prices has been slower too, as InfoLink analysts see the average price by mid-December to have settled at $0.13/W as year-end holidays led to construction activity coming to a halt. 

InfoLink explains, “Nevertheless, some European manufacturers are dedicated to addressing module inventory issues by redirecting modules to other countries for consumption. Efficient inventory depletion will allow sustained inventory draws in the fourth quarter. Furthermore, some orders are adjusted to TOPCon products for early 2024. Before that, inventory draws will continue.” 

Europe continued to be the largest importer of Chinese modules during 11M/2023 with 96.4 GW. 

The Americas region increased its buying capacity for Chinese modules with 3.1 GW, a 78% YoY and a 28% MoM increase. Brazil led with 2.2 GW of the total for which analysts attribute Law 14.300 that mandates projects to complete installations within 120 days after the application is approved. 

InfoLink says an order of the Brazil’s Executive Management Committee, or Gecex, is set to impose a 10.8% import tariff on module imports from 2024. This could mean a surge in inventory draws in Q4.  

The Americas bought 27.5 GW of total Chinese modules during 11M/2023. 

To its 11M total of 13 GW, the Middle East added 1.2 GW in November with a 90% YoY increase but a 22% MoM decrease. Saudi Arabia purchased 492 MW of capacity, followed by 146 MW by the UAE. Saudi Arabia alone procured 6.6 GW of the 13 GW. 

With 513 MW in the reporting month, Africa imported 7.5 GW of Chinese modules in 11M/2023. South Africa was the largest importer in November with 132 MW. 

InfoLink expects module demand to remain high in the markets of Brazil and India as module prices are expected to remain low. Shipping costs for the PV industry were impacted due to the Red Sea crisis caused by Yemen Houthi militants that led to international freight prices going up ‘three times higher.’ 

Going forward, Chinese module exports may be impacted as the US and India see local production capacities coming online in H1/2024, forecast the analysts. 

About The Author

Anu Bhambhani

Senior News Editor: Anu Bhambhani is the Senior News Editor of TaiyangNews. --Email : [email protected] --

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