The Chemical Industry comprises the companies that produce industrial chemicals. Central to the modern world economy, it converts raw materials (oil, natural gas, air, water, metals, and minerals) into more than 70,000 different products. Although chemicals were made and used throughout history, the birth of the heavy chemical industry (production of chemicals in large quantities for a variety of uses) coincided with the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution in general.

The Plastics Industry manufactures polymer materials - commonly called plastics - and offers services in plastics important to a range of industries, including packaging, building and construction, electronics, aerospace, and transportation. It is part of the chemical industry. In addition, as mineral oil is the major constituent of plastics, it is regarded a part of the petrochemical industry.

Besides plastics production, plastics engineering is an important part of the industrial sector. The latter field is dominated by engineering plastic as raw material because of its better mechanical and thermal properties than the more widely used commodity plastics. The Rubber Industry in India is not just a sunrise sector but one where growth has just dawned. While for our population, India certainly will be a market for the future, the question is ‘will India be a manufacturing hub for the rubber industry?’ If yes, what is it that will drive the industry? It has been mentioned on several occasions that in many countries it is with Government assistance that the industry is progressing. However, in India, despite poor assistance from the Government the industry is registering encouraging progress. We can very well imagine what growth can be expected if the Government heeds our voices of concern.

The market size of the Indian paints sector has been pegged at Rs 170 bn in value terms and is very fragmented. While in value terms, the industry grew by 17% to 18% in FY09, in volume terms, the growth stood at 9% YoY, the lowest in the last five years. The per capita consumption of paints in India stands at 0.5 kg per annum as compared to 1.6 kgs in China and 22 kgs in the developed economies. India's share in the world paint market is just 0.6%.

The Paints Sector is raw material intensive, with over 300 raw materials (30% petro-based derivatives) involved in the manufacturing process. Since most of the raw materials are petroleum based, the industry benefits from softening crude prices.

With the steady decline in excise duties (from 40% to 16% over five years), viability of small-scale units has eroded considerably. Without the price advantage, these units have found it difficult to compete with their peers in the organised sector. The unorganised sector has been consistently losing market share to the organised sector.

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