India is the sixth largest producer of chemicals in the world by output. In 2014, production totaled 19.3 million tons. The industry is valued at $144 billion and is projected to increase to $350 billion by 2021. The country exports about half of its chemical products to major foreign markets such as the U.S., Canada, Western Europe, Japan, and China.

The industry covers over 70,000 commercial products in the following categories:

  • Inorganic and organic chemicals
  • Drugs and pharmaceuticals
  • Plastics and petrochemicals
  • Dyes and pigments
  • Fine and specialty chemicals
  • Pesticides, agrochemicals, and fertilizers

Selected major foreign investors and their chemicals products in India include:

  • Dow Chemicals (Michigan) – products and solutions for agriculture, construction, electronic materials, and infrastructure industries
  • DuPont (Delaware) – solutions for food and energy sustainability, serves industries including automotive, health care, and mining
  • Croda International (U.K.) – specialty chemicals for textiles, polymers, agrochemicals, and personal, health, and home care
  • Henkel (Germany) – laundry/home care, beauty care, and adhesive technologies
  • Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation (Japan) – Purified Terephthalic Acid, sold in India for the past 20 years

Some Indian chemicals manufacturers are:

  • Excel Crop Care – agrochemical manufacturer, based in Mumbai
  • Bharat Group – agrochemical manufacturer comprised of smaller companies Bharat Rasayan, Insecticides, and Agrotech
  • Supreme Industries – India’s leading plastic processor, based in Mumbai
  • Haldia Petrochemicals – one of the largest petrochemical companies in India
  • Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories – pharmaceutical company headquartered in Hyderabad

India’s chemicals industry is growing because of the country’s growth in agriculture, construction, clothing, and automotive sectors and the strong demand for exports. Government policies such as allowance of 100% foreign direct investment and support for research and development also contribute to the sector.

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