02 February 2012 14:05 [Source: ICIS news]
NEW DELHI (ICIS)--India’s polyvinyl chloride (PVC) consumption is likely to increase by only 1–2% year on year in the fiscal year ending on 31 March 2012, a senior industry official said on Thursday.
“The low demand growth is mostly the result of an unusually heavy monsoon season and the fluctuation of the Indian rupee,” S Gopal, managing director of producer Chemplast Sanmar, said at an international conference during PlastIndia in New Delhi.
The monsoon season in India is typically a time of low demand for PVC, as pipe-laying activity comes to a halt during this period. The steep depreciation in the value of the Indian rupee versus the US dollar in recent months also dampened buying interest, as imports became very expensive.
“However, in the longer term, I expect PVC demand growth to average around 1.2–1.5 times GDP growth,” Gopal said. India’s demand for PVC was estimated at 1.9m tonnes in the fiscal year 2011–2012, while domestic capacity totalled only 1.3m tonnes/year, he added.
“The pipes and fittings sector currently accounts for more than 70% of PVC demand in India, in contrast to the global situation, where this sector contributes only 40% to PVC consumption,” he said. However, this is likely to change as other sectors, such as profiles and film, become more popular in India, he added.
The PVC industry has faced severe criticism from environmental activists in India, Gopal said. “The criticism is unjustified, as PVC allows for 100% recycling and also has a 50-year life cycle,” he said.
The two-day conference ends on Friday 3 February. The 8th PlastIndia exhibition is being held in New Delhi from 1–6 February.
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