Unrealistic expectations lead to disappointment. That seems to be the learning from developments in India’s economy in recent years. Its car sales provide a good illustration of the problem, as the above chart shows: • Sales took off in 2010-11, as stimulus measures supported the ‘Incredible India’ media hype • But by 2012 (green line) […]
Tag Archives | India
95% of Indian households do not own a car. And as the chart above shows, motor cycles remain the key market for manufacturers. 2011-12 annual figures have now been published, and they show: • 70% of sales were motorbikes (light blue), versus 66% in 2010-11 • Car sales (purple) were steady at 14% • Overall, […]
The Indian economy is one of the most misunderstood in the world. It holds great opportunities, because unlike China it still has a relatively young population. But it is also desperately poor. Thus the opportunities are around providing very basic needs, not for western-style goods. The above ‘Business Standard’ chart based on National Sample Survey […]
BASF opened its first China plant 20 years ago. Its Asian strategy focuses on China, Japan, S Korea and India. Thus yesterday’s comments by vice chairman Martin Brudermüller deserve careful study by any company or investor who is interested in the outlook for the region. The background was an unexpected 5% fall in BASF’s regional […]
Cotton prices are falling again, since Monday’s reversal by the Indian government of its proposed ban on cotton exports. India is the world’s 2nd largest cotton exporter, after the USA, with 20% of the market: • On 5 March, its Textiles Ministry banned all exports • Domestic users had applied pressure to divert supplies to […]
Cars are now the largest single market for chemical sales, as housing markets have slowed globally. Each new US car is worth $3297, for example, according to the American Chemistry Council (ACC), making the US market worth $42bn in 2011. 2011 auto sales were ~59m, up 4% from 2010. The West (EU, USA, Japan) still […]
The world enjoyed an economic SuperCycle between 1982-2007. Its largest economy, the USA, suffered just 16 months of recession during the whole 25 years. As a result, social and political issues took a back-seat. Politicians instead competed to occupy the middle ground. Former UK premier Margaret Thatcher’s phrase ‘you can’t buck the markets’, became received […]
Many analysts have argued that demand in India could easily replace volumes lost due to a slowing Western economy. Sadly, this week has provided further evidence of why this is merely wishful thinking. As the chart shows, India’s GDP is the same size as Canada’s. But India’s 1.4bn people means its GDP/capita is only $1371, […]
Many chemical companies now believe it is inevitable that China and India will reach developed economy status. Some even believe that their strong growth will mean “the end of economic cycles”. But as we discuss in chapter 6 of ‘Boom, Gloom and the New Normal’, the new International eChem/ICIS eBook, there are three major risks […]
ICIS pricing is a very valuable resource, particularly at market turning points. It highlighted the start of the current downturn in April, when reporting that buyers had moved to operating on a ‘hand to mouth’ basis. Now, its market editors are highlighting the fragility of demand due to ‘economic uncertainty’. This is the moment when […]
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Paul Hodges is Chairman of International eChem, trusted commercial advisers to the global chemical industry.
The aim of this blog is to share ideas about the influences that may shape the chemical industry over the next 12 – 18 months. It will try to look behind today’s headlines, to understand what may happen next in important issues such oil prices, economic growth and the environment. We may also have some fun, investigating a few of the more offbeat events that take place from time to time. Please do join me and share your thoughts.
Between us, we will hopefully develop useful insights into the key factors that will drive the industry's future performance.