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BMI View: The performance of the Indian petrochemicals industry is set to
strengthen in 2016 as new capacity comes onstream, albeit subject to the lengthy
delays that have come to characterise the sector's development. The year began
positively with the rescue of Haldia Petrochemicals and the completion of the
Brahmaputra Gas Cracker and Polymer Ltd, both in the east of India where the
government is now focusing its attention to take advantage of growth in
In Q116, growth was lacklustre compared to the same period in 2015 and saw a
significant downturn compared to the previous quarter. Based on the average
industrial production index for the first three months of 2016, chemicals output
was up 0.6% y-o-y and 1.8% q-o-q, but rubber and plastic production fell 0.5%
y-o-y and 6.8% q-o-q respectively. However, output was approximately in line
with overall industrial trends with the industrial index growing 0.2% y-o-y, but
falling 6.4% q-o-q.
The agriculture sector accounts for the bulk of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) demand
in the country, with 70% of the resin purchased for use in irrigation pipes. The
remaining 30% finds use in the construction sector, where PVC is used to make
profiles, films, sheets and fittings, and in calendaring applications. The
automotive sector will be a major force in driving engineering and
high-performance plastics and synthetic rubber in India, and is fuelling the
diversification of downstream industries. Producers are seeking to increase the
value of production and to raise margins by tapping into growth in the autos
industry, particularly in styrene-butadiene rubber, which India does not produce
but which is needed for tyre production. The automotive component and tyre
sectors are witnessing double-digit growth, fuelling demand for high value