India's plastics exports posted a growth of 31.6% at USD 4.59 billion during the period Apr 18-Sep 18 (H1 2018-19) as against USD 3.48 billion in same period during H1 2017-18, registering a faster pace of growth than the overall merchandise export growth from India as per The Plastics Export Promotion Council (PLEXCONCIL). During H1 2018-19, India reported merchandise exports worth USD 164.04 billion, up 12.5% from USD 145.75 billion in H1 2017-18.
According to PLEXCONCIL, plastics formed 2.80% of India's overall merchandise exports in H1 2018-19. The growth in India's plastics export has been primarily boosted by higher shipment of plastic raw materials, plastic sheet, film, plates, and packaging materials. During H1 2018-19, 23 out of the top 25 destination countries recorded year-on-year growth in plastics export from India.
Exports to China, Vietnam and Mexico witnessed high growth rates ranging between 70-140% during the H1 2018-19 period.
Mr. Ravish B Kamath, Chairman, PLEXCONCIL, said, "China, United States and United Arab Emirates continue to be top-3 destinations for India's plastics products. These three countries accounted for 27.5% of India's plastics product exports, by value, during H1 2018-19. And we added new destination countries for plastics export which includes French Guiana, Guam, Kiribati Republic, Lesotho, Marshall Island, Mayotte, Monaco, Nauru Republic and United States Virgin Islands."
Mr. Sribash Dasmohapatra, Executive Director, PLEXCONCIL, added, "In the first half of 2018-19, the trend in plastic exports from India has been very positive with a strong year-on-year growth vis-a-vis 2017-18 with August 2018 topping USD 800 million and registering 38.1% y-o-y growth. India's plastics exports in H1 2018-19 were boosted by higher exports, especially to North-East Asia, Africa, European Union, ASEAN, South Asia, and North America."
Mr. Kamath further said, "Having achieved a superior growth in H1 2018-19, we are confident of surpassing our export target of USD 10.6 billion in 2018-19 for products under the purview of our council. We laud the Hon'ble Prime Minister's historic support and outreach initiative for the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector that was unveiled recently. Since MSMEs form the backbone of our economy, the above initiative in form of easier access to credit of upto Rs 1 crore within 59 minutes, and increase in interest rebate from 3% to 5% for exporters, among others are steps in the right direction. We at the council shall continue to make concerted efforts towards supporting the above initiative. We remain committed to our ongoing efforts directed towards increasing the export of value-added plastic products from India."
The country's plastics industry offers immense potential in terms of capacity, infrastructure and skilled manpower. India is currently ranked among the top five consumers of polymers in the world and has 30,000 plus plastic processing units employing over four million (40 lakh) people across the country. Plastics are among the fastest-growing industries in the country experiencing a double-digit growth rate on an average. The plastics industry in India is making significant contribution to the economic development and growth of various key sectors in the country which includes automotive, construction, electronics, healthcare, and FMCG.
The plastic processing industry has the potential to contribute in bringing foreign investments and thus India's vision of becoming a manufacturing hub. The country is set to have 18 plastic parks with an investment of Rs. 400 crore from the Government to boost domestic production of plastics. The setting up of plastic parks is expected to further increase competitiveness and investments, achieve environmentally sustainable growth and adopt the cluster development approach to consolidate capacities in the plastics sector in addition to job creation. The Indian Plastics Industry offers huge growth opportunities due to lower per capita consumption as compared to world average coupled with low labour cost and availability of skilled manpower and training centers.