Indian Cell and Module Market – Current Demand & Supplies
The BCD (Basic Customs Duty) on import of solar cells and modules conundrum is still continued. The ministry of finance is not in favour of giving any exemption to developers under grandfather/pass through clause. Further, units in SEZ are also in deep trouble in finding a solution to BCD. This stalemate in finding the way out has been delaying the announcement of BCD in India. The global solar supply chain has still been facing shortage of polysilicon causing significant price rise in this week as well. The Chinese monopoly in supply chain of solar has been displaying their intentions under the current situation.
The price of imported solar cells of multi and mono has been rising significantly in this week as well. The price rise of mono cells remained quite high in comparison to multi cells though. FOB China price of 18.8% multi cells is roaming around USD 0.34/- per pc. The prices of imported solar multi modules have only showing small rise in prices due to existing stocks whereas the price has been raised significantly for imported mono PERC modules. The FOB China price of Mono PERC 400 Watt modules is hovering around USD 0.22/0.23 per watt which has already up by almost 2 cents. However, the FOB China price of multi 330/340 watt modules is still around USD 0.16/0.165 per watt. The prices of cells and modules are expected rise further owing to higher input costs.
The local manufacturing of solar cells and modules in the country has been running at impressive rates due to DCR and private demand. With the entry of large size players in the manufacturing sector, the SME players need to readjust their strategy; either they can work as OEM suppliers of large brands or they can work in consortium (common buying/marketing under common brand) to face the competition. The Govt of India must support Solar SME manufacturing sector separately as this sector would be the worst hit in times to come. Further, with refusal of any concessions to the solar manufacturing units in SEZ by Govt of India under BCD regime, these units are facing an uphill task.
The private demand for the distributed rooftop market has finally seen some silver lining. The local demand for DCR solar cells and DCR modules has remained impressive in the country with implementation of various Govt pump orders across the country. The demand from large scale project developers for imported modules has remained unaffected though some caution is being taken for the date and rate of BCD.
Impact on Solar Cells and Solar Module Pricing
The dollar exchange rate is expected to remain around Rs. 75. The current prices of local non-DCR multi 330/335 watt modules by Tier-1 and Tier-2 local manufacturers have seen between Rs. 16.50 to Rs. 17.00 per watt whereas non DCR mono PERC 380 watt modules are available around Rs. 18.75. The prices of DCR and non-DCR modules should further increase due to rise in prices of input costs. The price rise of modules is surely going to hit the market players hard due to low margins.