Toyo Ink expands in India, Indonesia

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Japanese manufacturer Toyo Ink Group has expanded its masterbatch and compounding operations in India and Southeast Asia to cater to growing automotive and white goods markets there, opening a small masterbatch facility in India and a larger compounding plant in Indonesia.

The Tokyo-based company said in an interview at the recent Plastivision show in Mumbai, India, that it wanted to start with a small operation in India because its Japanese customers there do not have a large presence in the country, and there's more local competition.

"Masterbatch is a good and growing market in India, even smaller local players have good capacities," said Teruaki Ido, general manager of plastic colorant and pigment with Toyo Ink India Pvt. Ltd. "We have started with low levels as Japanese brands whether in automobiles or white goods have not much presence in India. Therefore, our end users may not be very big."

The India operation, in Ankleshwar, Gujarat, is in a joint venture plant with German partner Heubach Color Pvt Ltd., where the two companies make pigments. The masterbatches also have some applications in pigments, Ido said.

The India facility currently has a masterbatch capacity of about 1,200 metric tons a year, but the company plans to double production this year, he said at Plastivision, held Dec. 12-16.

The much larger Indonesia compounding plant, by contrast, has a capacity of 10,000 metric tons a year, and opened in August in Jakarta.

"Indonesia is a good automobile market for us as Japanese auto brands dominate that market and our product has got good market and more acceptability, whereas, Japanese auto brands have a mere 15 per cent share in the Indian automobile market," Ido said.

The company may later add compounding to the India operation, although it could also target some of that production towards Africa, he said.