Strained trade relations between India and Pakistan have severely dented Indian plastic exports to the neighbouring country, with shipment values declining by a staggering 91.3 per cent year-on-year in September. Exports to that country during the first six months of current financial year were down 33.29 per cent to $41.08 million, from $61.59 million during the same period a year ago.
Data compiled by apex industry body, the Plastics Export Promotion Council (Plexconcil) under the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, showed India’s plastic exports to Pakistan has plunged to a mere $1 million in September 2019, from $11.5 million in the corresponding month last year. During financial year 2018-19, India’s shipments to that country were reported at $165.46 million and mainly consisted of raw material, woven sacks and flexible intermediate bulk containers (FIBCs).
By contrast, however, five of the top-25 destination countries recorded year-on-year growth in plastic exports from India this September. Shipments to Saudi Arabia rose by as much as 24.5 per cent during the month.
“On a cumulative basis, between April and September 2019, seven of the top-25 destination countries recorded year-on-year growth in plastic exports from India. Shipments to South Africa, Saudi Arabia and Canada grew between 18 per cent and 40 per cent during the first six months of the current fiscal,” said Sribash Dasmohapatra, Executive Director, Plexconcil.
On a cumulative basis, India’s overall plastic exports declined by 5.9 per cent to $4.32 billion during April-September 2019, from $4.59 billion in the same period last year. In September alone, India’s overall plastics exports plunged by 16.8 per cent to $649.17 million this year from $780.35 million last year.
India’s plastic exporters, meanwhile, have been exploring new markets such as CIS countries, Africa and Latin America aggressively to boost shipments. India is looking at a large share in these markets, which consume huge quantities of the material.
“The decline in India’s overall plastics exports was led primarily by a significant fall in India’s raw material prices following a slump in crude oil. The decline in overall exports could be a temporary phenomenon,” said Makarand Appalwar, chairman and managing director, Emmbi Industries, one of India’s largest plastic exporters.