India's polyurethane demand set to grow at pace - industry official

04 December 2012 15:36  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--India's polyurethane (PU) demand is expected to grow at a double-digit pace in the financial year ending 30 March 2013 despite challenges, a senior industry official said on Tuesday.

"India's PU consumption has grown at an annual rate of 12-14% over the past five years and this double-digit growth rate will likely continue over the next couple of years," said Rahul Gautam, chairman of the Indian Polyurethane Association and managing director of PU foam maker, Sheela Foam.

He was speaking at the sidelines of the ICIS Polyurethane Chain Conference in Singapore.

India's production of isocyanates and polyols currently totals around 120,000 tonnes/year, with the remaining 150,000 tonnes/year of demand being met by imports, Gautam said.

"India's per capita consumption of PU is currently a mere 200gms, but industry players in the country are targeting at least 1kg per capita consumption by 2020," he said.

According to market players, China's per capita consumption is close to 2kg. "India has a 1.2bn population, compared with China's 1.4bn, so there's no reason why there should be such a wide consumption gap between the two countries," said a separate PU maker.

Among the challenges faced by Indian PU makers are "an inefficient infrastructure, non-availability of trained human resources, lack of product awareness, a complex taxation structure, wild fluctuation in raw material prices and an unstable political system," Gautam said.

However, Gautam was hopeful that if the Indian government lives up to its promise of improving infrastructural development and bringing in a unified taxation system, the PU industry in India can see incremental growth by 2020.

The ICIS Polyurethane Chain Conference runs from 4-5 December.

By: Prema Viswanathan
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