• Between April 2016 and December 2016, Indian solar import and export activity increased by 25.26 billion INR ($0.38 billion) to a total of 127 billion INR ($1.9 billion)
  • Imports improved 41% over last year, exports registered a drop of 49% in the same period
  • December 2016 alone had imports going up by 74% YoY, but exports went down 95%
  • The UK took most shipments of 32% in the reporting period, followed by Italy at 8.41% of total exports
  • The foreign dominance is likely to continue and get even stronger as the government seems to distance itself from domestic content requirements for solar power project tenders in keeping with the WTO ruling

India saw its solar import and export activity in the first nine months of the fiscal year 2016-2017 amounting to 127 billion INR ($1.9 billion). It was an increase of 25.26 billion INR ($0.38 billion) from the same period in 2015-16 with total import-export activity reaching 101.78 billion INR ($1.5 billion).

Import activity reached a total of 123.1 billion INR ($1.8 billion) from April to December 2016, growing by 41% on YoY basis. Export activity, on the other hand, dropped 49% to 3.94 billion INR ($59 billion), stated Mercom Capital Group, referring to Department of Commerce data.

In the month of December 2016 alone rose by 74% from December 2015, but exports tumbled 95%.

Most project developers in India still depend on China to import solar modules and cells. It accounts for 107.9 billion ($1.6 billion) of total imports in India grabbing a market share of 87.7%. This is even a slight increase from a 85% market share reported by August 2016 (see Indian Solar Exports Grow). Malaysia continues to be next in line with 7% market share. The US with which India is currently embroiled in a tit-for-tat solar trade case, makes up only 1% of the total market share.

Solar exports from India to other countries are steadily coming down. In the reporting period, the UK took most shipments at 32% or 1.25 billion INR ($18.83 million), Italy came next accounting for 8.41% of total exports, followed by Belgium at 8.02%.

The foreign dominance is likely to continue and get even stronger as the government seems to distance itself from domestic content requirements for solar power project tenders in keeping with the WTO ruling (see Final WTO Verdict In India-US Solar Dispute). Recently the government scrapped a DCR clause in the Bhadla Solar Park project tender (see India Terminates 150 MW Local Content PV Tender).