Together, India's polyolefins and PVC markets are expected to grow 12 percent to about 17 billion pounds in 2011, with double-digit growth in consumption of both polypropylene and polyethylene, according to an estimate from Reliance Industries Ltd., the country's largest resin producer.
The general growth of India's economy, where gross domestic product rose 8.3 percent last year, is boosting plastic consumption in many different industries, along with opportunities to convert existing applications like milk bottles or liquid-soap packaging to plastic, said U.K. Saroop, vice president of the PP business at Mumbai-based Reliance.
Some of the sectors seeing good growth, he said, include automobiles, the packaging material raffia (which is the country's single largest PP sector), other packaging sectors like caps and closures, furniture, housewares, and at smaller levels, sectors like medical.
The fastest growth rate will come in PP, which is expected to see an 18 percent rise this year over last, followed by 15 percent increases for the next four or five years, he said.
The hike in PP use in India will push consumption from 4.9 billion pounds in 2010 to 5.7 billion pounds in 2011, he said in a presentation at the Plastivision 2011 trade show, held in Mumbai.
One of the largest PP markets, injection molding, has seen 12 percent growth rates the last few years as the auto market has expanded, he said.
We are expecting very good growth in the next few years, Saroop said.
Measured on a per-capita basis, though, India's plastic consumption lags behind many of its neighbors or other emerging economies.
In PP, he said, India uses about 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) per person annually, compared with 19.1 pounds in China, 11.7 pounds in Southeast Asia and 20.7 pounds in the Middle East.
Indian per-capita PP consumption is expected to hit about 12 pounds by 2015, with overall PP consumption reaching about 10.4 billion pounds, Saroop said.
The other resin markets also are growing, but not as quickly as PP. PE consumption is expected to rise about 12 percent this year over last year, from 5.7 billion pounds to 6.4 billion pounds, Reliance estimated. PVC is expected to grow about 5 percent to just under 4.2 billion pounds.
Saroop said if you add in other resins, such as PET, nylon and other engineering grades, total Indian resin consumption for 2011 is projected to reach about 18.8 billion pounds.