Rise in Indian plastics export industry

Plastics are the fastest-growing industries in India, experiencing a double-digit growth rate on an average. The industry covers the entire country and hosts more than 2,000 exporters. It employs about 4 million people and comprises more than 30,000 processing units, 85-90 percent of which are small and medium-sized enterprises.

Some of the common plastic merchandise exported by India are:
• Plastic-moulded extruded goods
• Polyester films
• Soft luggage items
• Writing instruments
• Plastic woven sacks and bags
• Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
• Leather cloth and sheeting
• Packaging
• Consumer goods
• Sanitary fittings
• Electrical accessories
• Laboratory / medical-surgical ware
• Fishnets
• Travelware
Plastics make 2.80 percent of India’s overall merchandise exports during April – September 2018 (H12018-19). India’s plastics exports saw a growth of 31.6 percent at $4.59 billion during the period H12018-19 as against $3.48 billion in the same period during H1 2017-18. This highlights the faster pace of growth than the overall merchandise export growth from India.
During H1 2018-19, India reported merchandise exports worth $164.04 billion, up 12.5 percent from $145.75 billion in H1 2017-18. Primary factor for India’s plastics export has been higher shipment of plastic raw materials, plastic sheet, film, plates, and packaging materials.
Chairman of Plexconcil said that “China, United States, and the United Arab Emirates continue to be top-3 destinations for India’s plastics products. These three countries accounted for 27.5 percent of India’s plastics product exports, by value, during H1 2018-19. New destinations were added for plastics export which includes French Guiana, Guam, Kiribati Republic, Lesotho, Marshall Island, Mayotte, Monaco, Nauru Republic, and United States Virgin Islands”.
Sribash Dasmohapatra, the executive director of Plexconcil, said that “In the first half of 2019, the trend in plastic exports from India has been very positive with a strong year-on-year growth as compared to 2017-18 with August 2018 topping $800 million. India’s plastics exports in H1 2019 were boosted by higher exports, especially to North-East Asia, Africa, European Union, South Asia, and North America”.
Therefore, the Indian plastics export industry continues to offer excellent potential in terms of capacity, infrastructure, and skilled manpower and the major strengths is the availability of raw materials in the country. Thus, plastic processors do not have to depend on imports because raw materials can be manufactured domestically. This is a major advantage as it will only help towards the growth of the Indian plastic industry.

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