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Plastic Industry

Indian Plastic Industry and Exports

Indian plastic industry market is one of the leading sectors in the country’s economy. The history of the plastic industry in India dates to 1957 with the production of polystyrene. Since then, the industry has made substantial progress and has grown rapidly. The industry is present across the country and has more than 2,000 exporters. It employs more than 4 million people in the country and constitutes 30,000 processing units; among these, 85-90% belong to small and medium enterprises. India manufactures various products such as plastics and linoleum, houseware products, cordage, fishnets, floorcoverings, medical items, packaging items, plastic films, pipes, raw material, etc. The country majorly exports plastic raw materials, films, sheets, woven sacks, fabrics, and tarpaulin. The Government of India intends to take the plastic industry from a current level of Rs. 3 lakh crores (US$ 37.8 billion) of economic activity to Rs. 10 lakh crores (US$ 126 billion) in 4-5 years.
Ten Plastic Parks have been approved in the country by The Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals. Among these, 6 plastic parks have received final approval from the following states – Madhya Pradesh (2 parks), Assam (1 park), Tamil Nadu (1 park), Odisha (1 park) and Jharkhand (1 park). These parks are intended to boost employment and attain environmentally sustainable growth.
Overall, the total plastics exports between April-September 2022 stood at US$ 6.38 billion. During this time period, the exports of plastic raw materials, medical items, and pipes and fittings increased by 32.3%, 24.8% and 17.9% over the same time last year, respectively.
The cumulative exports of plastics and related materials during 2021-22 were valued at US$ 13.34 billion. This was a 33.4% increase from the 2020-21 exports valued at US$ 10 billion. Plastic raw materials were the largest exported category and constituted 30.7% of the total exports in 2021-22; it recorded a growth of 26.5% over the previous year. Plastic films and sheets were the second largest category, comprised 15.2% of the total exports, and grew 32.7% over the previous year.
In May 2022, the exports of plastics and linoleum from India were valued at US$ 1,073 million. During the same period, medical items of plastics; plastic films & sheets; plastic pipes & fittings; FRP & composites; packaging items; cordage fishnets & monofilaments; and miscellaneous products recorded strong growth. The cumulative exports for April and May 2022 grew 2.6% YoY to US$ 2,173 million.
India exports plastic to more than 200 countries in the world. The top 5 consumer and houseware product importing countries are the USA, Germany Japan, the UK and France. India largely exports plastic and related products to the USA, China, UAE, Germany, Italy, the UK, Bangladesh, Nepal, Turkey, France, Viet Nam, Indonesia, etc. The total value of exports to the US, the largest consumer of the Indian plastic industry, stood at US$ 2,430.8 million in 2021-22, an increase of 63.6% YoY. China is the second largest consumer of plastic export products from India and the total value of exports stood at US$ 883.5 million. US and China constituted 18.21%, and 6.62%, of the total plastic exports in 2021-22.
The total plastic exports from India to France during 2021-22 was around US$ 224.9 million. In order to boost exports to France and Europe, the PLEXCONCIL collaborated with Indo-French Chamber in the first quarter of 2021-22. The Minister for Commerce and Industry, Mr. Piyush Goyal, recently urged the industry to adopt international standards to help it expand its global footprint. India has recently signed a free-trade agreement with UAE and Australia, which will give the plastics industry new opportunities.
The Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry of India targets to increase the plastic exports of the country to US$ 25 billion by 2025. There are multiple plastic parks are being set up in the country in a phased manner that will help improve the plastic manufacturing outputs of the country. Under the plastic park schemes, funds of up to 50% of the project costs or a ceiling cost of Rs. 40 crore (US$ 5 million) per project.
Government initiatives like “Digital India”, “Make in India”, and “Skill India” will also boost India’s Plastic industry. For instance, under the “Digital India” program, the government aims to reduce the import dependence of products from other countries, which will lift the local plastic part manufacturers.
The government also launched a program for building Centres of Excellence (CoEs) to develop the existing petrochemical technology and promote the research environment pertaining to the sector in the country. This will aid in promoting and developing new applications of polymers and plastics in the country. Additionally, about 23 Central Institute of Plastics Engineering & Technology (CIPET) have been approved to accelerate financial and technological collaboration for promoting skills in chemicals and petrochemicals sector.
The Plastics Export Promotion Council (PLEXCONCIL)
The PLEXCONCIL was established by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in 1955. The main objective of this non-profitable organization is to showcase India as a reliable supplier of high-quality products. PLEXCONCIL is the apex body of the plastics industry in the country and represents more than 2,500 exporters who manufacture and trade plastics products ranging from plastic raw materials to semi-finished and finished items.

Source: India Brand Equity Foundation

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