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India, a booming market

News International-French

13 Aug 2011

Besides the fact that it is growing at a very high rate, the Indian market is also changing rapidly to take on added value.*

(Published on July 2006 – JEC Magazine #26)


Today the Indian market is estimated at a bit more than 100,000 metric tons of composites, worth about 350 million dollars. For the past three years, its rate of growth has been shooting upwards at 25% per year - and so far, there is no sign that it is running out of steam. Two major players, Owens Corning and Saint-Gobain Vetrotex, are present in the glass-fibrereinforcement segment, which is the Indian market’s largest one.



The processing segment includes somewhat more than 5,000 companies of varying size. Indian market players are making a name for themselves, notably in segments such as telecommunications and pultruded gratings. We think it is safe to say that the Indian market is very attractive for companies that would like to become established in India, or just to work there.



The market has changed considerably over the past fifteen years, following the “apprenticeship” period from 1960 to 1990 when the composite sector was being pulled along by the industry’s pioneers. Local players are now taking positions in the national and international markets , and some are starting to assert leadership in certain fields.



Trends in the global composite industry
- The global composite industry is growing at an average yearly rate of 4-5%, slightly more than competing materials like aluminium, steel and plastic substitutes. Regulations, particularly in Europe and the United States, are getting increasingly strict, holding up the use of composite materials a bit.


- The influence of low-labour-cost countries is increasing significantly, thanks notably to highly competitive production costs and modern production units that are in tune with high-growth markets.


- In terms of volume, the Indian and Chinese markets are growing at impressive rates of 10% to 20%, compared to the 3.5-4% of the European, American and Japanese markets.


The market is now being driven by the automotive industry and - even more - by infrastructures. These two markets account for approximately 70% of composite volumes. Other industries are also developing, but with lower volumes. Overall, the market is soaring, and the number of user segments is constantly increasing.



*Source: Owens Corning