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Keeping up with the times

Chemical companies are constantly adapting to external challenges and this is clearly evident in a comparison of the ICIS listing of top chemical companies in 2008 and 1998. Three companies that figured in the top 10 list for 1998 have disappeared – ICI, Hoechst and Rhone Poulenc – as a result of mergers and acquisitions […]

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A droughty question

With the threat of drought looming large over most of India its time to ask another decoupling question. Can the Indian economy escape from the effects of a drought? I found some answers in Niranjan Rajadhyaksha’s analysis in today’s Mint. Most economists estimate that the drought will shave off economic growth by one percentage point […]

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Chem engineers return to the fold

The economic crisis has led to one favourable result for the chemical industry. After years of seeing graduate chemical engineers migrate to more lucrative sectors such as IT or finance the chemical industry is now proving to be attractive. I recently had an opportunity to meet Professor GD Yadav of Mumbai’s Institute of Chemical Technology […]

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Make way for ‘Chindonesia’

China, India and Indonesia are powering Asia’s economic recovery this year prompting one economist to club the three to form Asia’s “next growth triangle”. A recent report by CLSA, titled Chindonesia: Enter the Komodo, estimates that the three countries will generate $10 trillion of wealth for investors by 2015. “Together, China and India are increasingly […]

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Potash market power

Have Indian fertiliser companies been able to break a stranglehold that major producers have on the global potash market? Indian papers are full of reports on how Indian companies have succeeded in doing this by securing a contract price of $460/tonne for supplies in 2009-10, about $165/tonne lower than the previous contract. The drop comes […]

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Budget blues

With the budget offering little to the chemicals industry it is time to pile on to the rural rickshaw and hope for a trickle down efect from the enhanced spending that the government has planned in this part of India. Photo by BriceFR This is entirely possible. More money in the hands of the rural […]

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Empty promises

The 100-day fever is fast spreading and the Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilisers is the latest casualty. A very bland press release outlining what the ministry plans to achieve over the next three months has come my way. I started reading the release with a great deal of scepticism and was convinced at the end […]

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Ouch! That hurts

I have been hearing that the Indian government will soon announce preliminary antidumping duty (ADD) on polypropylene (PP) imports from Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Oman. A few lucky producers/exporters have escaped but there are many who face a stiff duty of as much as a few hundred dollars, say my friends from the industry. Polymer […]

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Stimulus planned for textiles

India’s synthetic fibre and fibre intermediate produces will be happy to know that the textile industry is likely to soon receive a number of incentives from the government. A stimulus package, due to be announced next month, would include subsidies on interest and additional funds for technology upgradation, says this report. This is needed as […]

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Students still love IT

Indian information technology (IT) companies may no longer be queuing up at campuses for fresh graduates but engineering students continue to rank this sector above all others, according to the latest Nielsen Campus Track T-Schools study. Chemicals, not surprisingly, does not figure on the list although oil and gas was seen as the ‘industry of […]

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