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Plastics / Rubber

Plastics / Rubber


The Plastics Industry in India has made significant achievements ever since it made a modest but promising beginning by commencing production of Polystyrene in 1957. The plastic processing sector comprises of over 30,000 units involved in producing a variety of items through injection moulding, blow moulding, extrusion and calendaring. The capacities built in most segments of this industry coupled with inherent capabilities have made us capable of servicing the overseas markets. The economic reforms launched in India since 1991, have further helped the Indian plastic industry. Joint ventures, foreign investments, easier access to technology from developed countries etc have opened up new vistas to further facilitate the growth of this industry.

The Indian plastic processing industry is highly fragmented and comprises 25,000 firms. Barring 10% - 15% of the firms, which can be classified as medium scale operations, all the units operate on a small-scale basis.The top 100 players account for just 20% of the industry turnover. The total number of players in the sector is more than 25,000. However, the degree of fragmentation, worldwide, is a large and despite the small size of operations of the players, they are able to operate profitably. Further, the high growth in demand ensures that the market is able to absorb the excess capacity in quick time. Overall, the degree of competition can be considered high in the Indian plastic processing industry.

The sector has a significant presence of the unorganised sector, which accounts for more than 70% of the industry turnover. More than 95% of the firms in the industry are partnership, proprietorship or private limited companies. Further, these small companies get significant advantages in taxes. These firms thus provide significant level of competition to the organised sector companies, which combined together are making losses. The organised sector companies thus need to build up significant brand image to survive against the competition from the unorganised sector. The key organised sector players include Nilkamal Plastics Limited and Supreme Industries Limited.

Rubber Industry in India

The world production of rubber was considered to be very unstable during the last few years. Comparatively, India\'s production of rubber is consistent at the rate of 6% per annum. The Indian rubber industry has been growing in strength and importance. This is the result of India\'s burgeoning role in the global economy. India is among the world\'s largest producers and third largest consumer of natural rubber. Moreover, India is also one of the fastest growing economy globally. These factors along with high growth of automobile production and the presence of large and medium industries has led to the growth of rubber industry in India. Kerala contributes 90% of India’s total production of natural rubber. Also, Kerala and Tamil Nadu together occupy 86% of the growing area of natural rubber.

Key features of the Indian Rubber Industry

  • India is the third largest producer of rubber in the world.

  • It is the fourth largest consumer of natural rubber.

  • It is the fifth largest consumer of natural rubber and synthetic rubber together in the world.

  • India is the world\'s largest manufacturer of reclaim rubber.

  • India and China are the only two countries in the world which have the capacity to consume the entire indigenous production of natural rubber.

Rubber Consumption Pattern in India

  • Automotive tyre sector: 50% consumption of all kinds of rubbers

  • Bicycles tyres and tubes: 15%

  • Footwear: 12%

  • Belts and hoses: 6%

  • Camelback and latex products: 7%

  • Other products: 10%

Future of Automation in the Plastics & Rubber Industry

Industrial robots have long been used to reduce companies’ manufacturing, production and labor costs, eliminate dirty, dangerous and dull work tasks, and foster enhanced manufacturing production efficiency, quality and consistency. Though auto industry has traditionally been the largest single user of industrial robotics, according to the research assessment conducted by NextGen, ABI Research, the rubber and plastics industry seems to be increasingly utilizing industrial automation to the extent that, by 2015, it will be the largest consumer of industrial robotics on a revenue basis -- even larger than the auto industry.