The Plastics Exports Promotion Council of India (PLEXCONCIL) said that it expects positive growth in the sector’s outbound shipments in the coming months on the back of global demand and government support to boost local production and looks to achieve exports of $25 billion by 2025.

PLEXCONCIL Chairman Ravish Kamath said that exports are growing as customers in Europe and the US are looking at India as a reliable supplier. He said that exports recorded positive growth in September, “so we expect this trend to continue and plastics exports will post much better results. The Council intends to target plastics’ exports of $25 billion by calendar year 2025, while posting 20 per cent growth in the exports during this fiscal and next”. He added that the government is supporting to increase domestic production by setting up of 18 plastic parks.

Talking about challenges faced by the sector, he told that finished goods are waiting in factories and cannot be exported due to shortage of containers, which is leading to expiry of LC’s (Letter of Credit) and breaching of delivery schedules. “This will greatly affect credibility of Indian exporters if not corrected very quickly. Similarly, as India is import dependent on polymers, import shipments are not getting loaded at ports in Europe, and the US for India due to which a panic situation has arisen doubting the availability of raw materials on time,” he said. This has led to an unprecedented hike in polymer prices, specially for PVC resin wherein India produces only 45 per cent of its mammoth consumption, he added.

Ravish Kamath suggested the government to continue with the export incentive scheme – MEIS (Merchandise Export from India Scheme) and fixation of liberal refund rates for the sector under RoDTEP (Remission of Duties or Taxes on Export Product. He also stated that availability of polymers at competitive prices in India is a challenge for the sector boosting its domestic production would help adequate availability of polymers in the country at competitive rates. India’s plastics are mainly exported to Europe (24 per cent), North America (16 per cent) and WANA region (14 per cent). WANA region comprises 19 countries including Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Iraq.

“India does not have any trade agreements with any of these regions / countries due to which our exporters are unable to compete. If the government can forge a trade agreement with these regions / countries, our exporters would be able to increase exports,” he added.

Plastic and linoleum exports grew by about 7 per cent year on year to $634 million in September. During April-September this fiscal, the exports dipped by 4.25 per cent to $3.8 billion.