Mumbai — Surging application of PU in automotive, slab stock, footwear and appliances markets is likely to double consumption in India in next five years.
India’s per capita PU consumption expected to double in next five years
Currently, the country's per capita PU consumption is even lower than third world underdeveloped economies.
'India produces about 600 kT/year polyurethane. Per capita consumption is low at 300 g/year but with growing applications, it is expected to double to 600 g/year in next five years,' estimates Mahesh Gopalasamudram. Gopalasamudram chairman Indian Polyurethane Association (IPUA).
Globally, the world consumes 1.8kg PU/year , said Gopalasamudram. He added that this means that:'Current low per capita consumption will ensure PU industry growth for another decade in India.'
India's rapidly growing automotive industry is driving growth in PU production in India. This sector sees 15% annual growth. Growth in the footwear and appliances sectors is slower at 9%. Demand from slab-stock is growing 9% yearly.
But PU industry grapples with issues of uncomfortable supply and price instability.
Foam thickness in bedding and furniture sector is shrinking from 110 mm to 95 mm causing concern for the industry. 'Application of polyethene (EPE foam), which is not designed as a bedding material and regarded as low-end product is increasingly being used as alternative to PU,' he said.
The use of fillers in polyurethane is rising and, with thinner bedding, is in danger of compromising the perception of quality of polyurethane in India.
The association is also focusing on the issue of sustainability. It has announced a Waste Management Disposal Challenge with a top prize of INR 200,000.