India’s plastic exports declined by 3.5 per cent in the 2023-24 fiscal to $11.55 billion compared with $11.97 billion in the previous fiscal despite a surge in shipments during the December 2023-March 2024 period. 

According to the Plastic Export Promotion Council (Plexconcil), established by the Ministry of Commerce, plastic shipments in March 2024 increased by 5.6 per cent to $1.11 billion against $1.05 billion in March 2023. 

Hemant Minocha, Chairman of Plexconcil, said in a statement that in March, exports of made-up fishing nets were at a record high, cementing the country’s leadership in the domain. There was robust growth in vital sectors such as cordage, flexible intermediate bulk containers (FIBC), woven fabrics, laminates and composite. 

In March, exports of most of the product panels such as plastic films and sheets; FIBC, woven sacks, woven fabrics, tarpaulin; floorcoverings, leathercloth and laminates; packaging items — flexible, rigid; plastic pipes and fittings; fibre reinforced plastics and composites; plastic raw materials; medical items of plastics; cordage, fishnets and monofilaments; and human hair and related products were higher. However, shipments of product panels such as miscellaneous products and items; consumer and  houseware products and writing instruments and stationery declined. 

Exports of FIBC, woven sacks, woven fabrics and tarpaulin registered 16.1 per cent growth due to higher sales of sacks and bags of plastics and flexible intermediate bulk containers in March.  

Surge in exports

Sribash Dasmohapatra, Executive Director of Plexconcil, said plastic exports surged during December 2023- March 2024 amidst fluctuating global economic conditions. “The surge reflects not only the resilience of the Indian plastics sector but also the diverse export portfolio, spanning raw materials, packaging, and consumer products, that underscore the country’s multifaceted approach to global trade, leveraging strengths across various segments,” he said.

Plexconcil was optimistic about sustaining this growth trajectory and further enhancing India’s position in the global plastics market during the current fiscal, Dasmohapatra said.