The Indian government's war on inflation appears to be making its way to the world of chemicals as a proposal to ban exports of soda ash and trim excise duties on major petrochemical inputs is being considered.
Soda ash prices have spiralled this year on the back of rising energy costs with product costing more than Rs14,000/tonne, up from around Rs10,000/tonne last year.
User industries are hoping that an export ban will force producers to lower prices and divert material to the domestic market. A final decision on the proposal has yet to be taken with the government waiting for feedback from the Alkali Manufacturers Association of India.
But there are no prizes for guessing what the association will have to say about this proposal.