IOC to increase PE, PP exports to Pakistan on road trade opening

06 February 2012 05:01  [Source: ICIS news]

NEW DELHI (ICIS)--Indian Oil Corp (IOC) plans to increase polymer exports to Pakistan from its Panipat complex in India with the opening of road trade between the two countries, a company source said over the weekend.

IOC, which regularly offers polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) to neighbouring Pakistan by rail, successfully sent the first consignment by truck last week, said the source at the sidelines of the 8th PlastIndia exhibition.

“Exporting via road is more cost-effective. Movement by rail is limited by the availability of wagons; we will now be able to send larger volumes,” he added. Panipat is about 400km from Lahore, a key polymer market in Pakistan.

The company hopes to increase export volumes to 8,000-8,500 tonnes/month from 5,000-6,000 tonnes/month at present.

“The truck was unloaded at the border and product transferred to another truck with Pakistani registration,” he explained. The consignment was delivered to Lahore.

Pakistan’s polyolefins demand, estimated at around 300,000/year for PE and 300,000/year for polypropylene (PP), is entirely met by imports, mainly from the Middle East, as Pakistan has no local production of PE and PP.

But India’s share is likely to grow, especially for the PP, as the country faces a huge surplus for this product.

India is expected to export around 1m tonnes of PP in fiscal 2011-12.

And the surplus will increase further after the commissioning of HMEL’s  440,000 tonnes/year plant in March or April 2012.

Besides polymers, IOC is also eyeing exports of other petrochemicals to Pakistan.

“The next product that we will like to move by road is purified terphthalic acid (PTA). Pakistan consumes about 500,000 of PTA of which 30% is met by imports,” said the IOC source.

The 8th PlastIndia exhibition is a six-day event which will end on 6 February.

Additional reporting by Ong Sheau Ling and Prema Viswanathan

By: Malini Hariharan
+65 6780 4359

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