Exports during April-September topped USD 4.32 billion, compared to USD 4.59 billion in the same period in the last financial year, down 5.9 per cent, according to Chairman of the Plastics Export Promotion Council (PLEXCONCIL), Ravish Kumath.
India’s plastics exports declined by six per cent in the first six months of the current fiscal following a dip in shipments to China and Pakistan, a senior industry official said on Friday. Exports during April-September topped USD 4.32 billion, compared to USD 4.59 billion in the same period in the last financial year, down 5.9 per cent, according to Chairman of the Plastics Export Promotion Council (PLEXCONCIL), Ravish Kumath. PLEXCONCIL is sponsored by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Department of Commerce, Government of India. Plastic accounts for 2.7 per cent of India’s total merchandise exports.
The decline is due to a 19 per cent dip in export of plastics raw materials — from USD 2.23 billion to USD 1.8 billion –, particularly to China, India’s biggest market, Kamath told PTI. “The trade war between the US and China has really created a very serious impact,” he said. India’s plastics exports in 2018-19 were USD 10.89 billion, up 24 per cent from previous year’s figure of USD 8. 85 billion.
For the current fiscal, Kamath expects the exports growth to be flat. “We should be around USD 11 billion. Because of this trade tension (between the US and China), we expect that the exports would be around the same but the big change will be that manufactured exports or value added exports will increase drastically,” he said. “Raw materials exports will still fall. We expect raw materials to fall by 20 per cent, but manufacturing exports to increase by 20 per cent,” Kamath added.
India’s plastics exports to Pakistan were USD 165 million in the first six months of the last fiscal, but that figure has slumped to a mere USD one million in April-September period of the current financial year due to strained relations between the two countries.
PLEXCONCIL is hopeful that India’s annual plastics exports would reach USD 25 billion in three years. India’s plastics industry is seeing huge growth opportunities in the US market, particularly in the packaging field, because of the sanctions imposed on various Chinese goods by Washington, Kamath said.
Plastic packaging sector, particularly flexible intermediate bulk containers (FIBC or jumbo bags where one can pack anything between 500 kg and two tons), a highly labour-oriented product, is witnessing impressive growth in exports to the US.
“Five years back, India’s share in (plastic) packaging goods market in the US was less than five per cent; this year we are at 49 per cent. It’s growing at a very fast pace. We see very good potential in the US market,” he said.