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The Plastics Industry In India: An Overview

SpecialChem / Stephen Hunt – Sep 12, 2011

The Indian plastics market is comprised of around 25,000 companies and employs 3 million people. The domestic capacity for polymer production was 5.72m tonnes in 2009. The State of Gujurat in Western India is the leading plastics processing hub and accounts for the largest number of plastics manufacturers, with over 5,000 plastics firms. The growth rate of the Indian plastics industry is one of the highest in the world, with plastics consumption growing at 16% per annum (compared to 10% p.a. in China and around 2.5% p.a. in the UK). With a growing middle class (currently estimated at 50 million) and a low per capita consumption of plastics, currently 8kg per head, this trend is likely to continue. The Plastindia Foundation estimate that plastics consumption is likely to reach 16kg per head by 2015.

Despite India having a population of 1.15 billion and a work force of 467 milion, plastics companies have reported problems with labour shortages. This has led to increased investment in technology such as automation and conveyor belt systems. Apart from the shortage of a skilled labour, the plastics industry is also facing the problem of a nationwide power deficit. The electricity demand deficit is 12-13 per cent.This provides excellent opportunities for firms offering energy saving solutions, power saving machines and ancillary equipment.

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